The world’s fastest, shortest laser pulse was created by researchers in Zurich, Switzerland. This scientific advance will enable us to study all movements of atoms and and molecules on their basic time scale.
Molecules rotate in the range of picoseconds, atoms vibrate in femtoseconds and their electrons move in the range of attoseconds.
In order to fully understand the dynamics during a chemical reaction, scientists must be able to observe the basic movements of atoms.
This laser pulse is the shortest controlled event ever created by any human.
Attosecond laser spectroscopy is not only useful for mere observation, but also for manipulating chemical reactions directly. Using a laser pulse can alter the course of a reaction; even chemical bonds can be broken by stopping the charge shift at a certain location in a molecule. This was not possible until now.
Worner’s team is already working to create even smaller laser pulses. This will make it possible to observe even more detailed images.