The charge, lattice, orbital and spin degrees of freedom play a crucial role in determining the remarkable properties of transition metal oxide materials, but probing these degrees of freedom is often challenging. In this talk, I will describe how resonant inelastic x-ray scattering (RIXS) opens up important new possibilities for measuring these degrees of freedom even in extreme cases such as atomically thin heterostructures and ultra-fast transient states. This includes observing precursor charge correlations in cuprates , Weyl phonons in FeSi , determining how orbitals are modified within LaNiO3-based heterostructures  and characterizing the spin behavior within the transient state of photo-doped Sr2IrO4 .
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