News of the WeekULTRAFAST LASERS

Strobe Light Breaks the Attosecond Barrier

Science  01 Jun 2001:
Vol. 292, Issue 5522, pp. 1627-1628
DOI: 10.1126/science.292.5522.1627b

You are currently viewing the summary.

View Full Text

Via your Institution

Log in through your institution

Log in through your institution


Summary

On page 1689 of this issue, physicists report creating the fastest strobe light ever made, with individual pulses lasting just 220 attoseconds, or 220 billionths of a billionth of a second. These unimaginably short pulses are the first to be confirmed as breaking the attosecond barrier, a goal of high-speed-laser researchers for nearly a decade. Such pulses may one day serve as an ultrafast camera, allowing researchers to freeze action and perhaps to spot the gyrations of individual electrons whirling around an atomic nucleus.

Related Content