The World’s Shortest Laser Pulse

Recently, ETH researchers successfully X ray laser pulse duration time is shortened to 43 seconds. In the time resolution of attosecond (10-18 seconds), they observed for the first time the motion of electrons in slow chemical reactions.

In general, scientists can study all the motions of atoms and molecules in the basic time range of atoms and molecules. The range of molecular rotation is picosecond (10-12 second), and their vibrational range is femtosecond (10-15 second), and the range of electron motion is attosecond (10-18 second).

In this study, researchers have obtained a soft X ray green laser pointer pulse with very wide spectral bandwidth from an infrared laser. Therefore, by stimulating the inner shell electrons, we can directly observe the various elements including phosphorus and sulfur. These two elements are present in biomolecules and can now be observed at an unprecedented time resolution.

It is understood that the attosecond laser spectrometer is not only suitable for observation, but also can directly control the chemical reaction. The use of laser pulses can change the reaction process even by breaking the chemical bonds by stopping the charge transfer at a certain position in the molecule. It is impossible to say that targeted interventions in this chemical reaction are not possible, because it is not possible to reach the time scale of the electron motion in the molecule.

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