Figure 1
B. Baxley/JILA

Shocking in a small way. A mixture of nitrogen gas and 100-nanometer salt crystals (light blue dots) enters from the left. The first laser pulse transforms a nanoparticle into a plasma, and the second drives a shock wave through the expanding plasma. The ions are propelled toward the detector by the washer-shaped electrodes. The detector records the positions of the ions, which correspond to their energies.