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December 21, 2004

Femtoseconds are so last year... or is it last second?

Femtosecondhome

Who's got time for those grotesquely long time intervals any more?

Not physicists, that's for sure: they're dealing with "the real time scale of matter," as Paul Corkum, a physicist with the Steacie Institute for Molecular Sciences in Ottawa, said in a Discover magazine article.

That would be the attosecond: 10 to the -18th power, or a billionth of a billionth of a second.

In comparison, a femtosecond (1000 attoseconds) is way too much time when you're dealing with electrons.

Collage_1

Sure, for whole atoms and molecules the femtosecond's great, but we're getting down here.

Even attoseconds are getting old: new up is the zeptosecond, one-thousandth of an attosecond.

December 21, 2004 at 10:01 AM | Permalink


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Comments

OK, I came for Book of Joe, 1.0, but liked it enough to stay for 2.0. Good work, Joe!

Posted by: Steve Lewis | Dec 21, 2004 11:58:32 AM

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