Scientists have measured the shortest unit of time ever: the time it takes for particles of light to pass Hydrogen Atom
That time, for the record, is 247 zeptoseconds. A zeptosecond is a trillionth of a second, or one decimal point followed by 21 zeros and one. Earlier, researchers had entered the field of zeptoseconds; In 2016, researchers report in the journal Nature Physics Use of lasers to measure additional time up to 850 zeptoseconds. This accuracy is a huge leap from the 1999 Nobel Prize-winning work, which was first measured in femotoseconds, to a millionaire seconds.
It takes femtoseconds to break and form chemical bonds, but it takes zeptoseconds for light to travel to a hydrogen atom (H2). To measure this very short journey, the physicist Reinhard Droner and his colleagues at the University of Goethe in Germany shot X-ray From Petra III at Hamburg’s Particle Accelerator, Deutsche Electron-Synchrotron (DESY).
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The researchers set up X-ray sets so that a single photon or particle of light could pull two electrons out of a hydrogen atom. (A hydrogen atom consists of two protons and two electrons.) A photon bounces one electron from one atom, and then another, jumping like a pebble on top of a lake. These interactions created a wave pattern known as the interference pattern, which Danner and his colleagues could measure with a device called the Cold Target Recoil Ion Momentum Spectroscopy (CLTRIMS) reaction microscope. This device is essentially a very sensitive particle detector that can record extremely fast atomic and molecular reactions. The CLTRIMS microscope records both the mode of interference during the interaction and the position of the hydrogen atom.
“When we learned the spatial target of a hydrogen atom, the photon reached the first and when it reached the second hydrogen atom we used to accurately calculate the interference of two electron waves,” said Sven Grundman, a research fellow at the University of Rostock in Germany. Said in a statement.
At that time Sit and forty-seven zeptoseconds, with some wiggle room depending on the distance between the hydrogen atoms inside the atom at a particular moment winged by the photon. Measurement essentially captures the speed of light within an atom.
“We have observed for the first time that the electron shell in an atom does not react to light everywhere at once,” Derner said in a statement. “Time is delayed because the information inside the atom only spreads at the speed of light.”
Results in the journal 16 Oct Qt. Were detailed Science.
Published on Original Living Science.