Scientists have so far measured the short-term unit: the time it takes lighter particles to cross a hydrogen atom.
That time, for the record, is 247 zeptoseconds. One zeptosecond is a trillion, or decimal point, in the billions of another, followed by 20 zeros and 1.
Previously, researchers had dived into 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 trip, Reinhard Droner, a physicist at Goethe University in Germany, and his colleagues shot X-rays from Petra III at Hamburg’s particle accelerator de de Chase electron-synchrotron (DESY).
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 got to know the spatial target of a hydrogen atom, the photon reached the first and when it reached the second hydrogen atom, we used it to accurately calculate the interference of two electron waves,” said Sven Grundmann, a research fellow at the University of Rostock in Germany. .
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.
Image: A particle of light, called a photon (yellow arrow), produces electron waves from the electron cloud (gray) of a hydrogen atom (red: nucleus). The result of those interactions is what is called the interference pattern (violet-white). The interference mode is slightly tilted to the right, allowing researchers to calculate the licensing time for a photon from one atom to another.
“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.”
The results were detailed in the journal October 16 Science.
This article was originally published by Live Science. Read the original article here.