News of the WeekPhysics

Attosecond Laser Pulses Illuminate Fleeting Dance of Electrons

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Science  06 Apr 2007:
Vol. 316, Issue 5821, pp. 33
DOI: 10.1126/science.316.5821.33a

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When hit by a burst of intense light, an electron can escape the confines of an atom in just a few hundred attoseconds, thanks to a quantum-mechanical phenomenon known as tunneling. Now, for the first time, scientists have seen this blindingly fast escape act happen in real time. (Read more.)