Intense lasers magnetize solids within attoseconds

Intense laser light can induce magnetism in solids on the attosecond scale—the fastest magnetic response to date. That is the finding reached by theoreticians at the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of ...

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An attosecond is an SI unit of time equal to 10−18 of a second. (one quintillionth of a second). For context, an attosecond is to a second what a second is to about 31.71 billion years, or twice the age of the universe.

The word "attosecond" is formed by the prefix atto and the unit second. Atto- was made from the Danish word for eighteen (atten). Its symbol is as.

An attosecond is equal to 1000 zeptoseconds, or 1/1000 of a femtosecond. Because the next higher SI unit for time is the femtosecond (10−15 seconds), durations of 10−17 s and 10−16 s will typically be expressed as tens or hundreds of attoseconds:

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