Peering into plasma mirrors

When light interacts with a mirror which is moving towards it at a speed close to the speed of light, its wavelength is shifted into the extreme ultraviolet region of the spectrum. This effect was first predicted by Albert ...

Shooting movies in atoms

Researchers of the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics at LMU and the Max Planck Institute for Quantum Optics have developed a microscope that tracks the motion of electrons.

Attosecond photoelectron spectroscopy accelerated

Laser physicists have succeeded in reducing the acquisition time for data required for reliable characterization of multidimensional electron motions by a factor of 1000.

Brief reflections from a plasma mirror

When a dense sheet of electrons is accelerated to almost the speed of light, it acts as a reflective surface. Such a 'plasma mirror' can be used to manipulate light. Now an international team of physicists from the Max Planck ...

Attosecond pulse leads to highest molecular level probe resolution

Attosecond pulses enable physicists to probe dynamic processes in matter with unprecedented time resolution. This means such technology can provide better insights into the dynamics of electrons in molecules. Devising a source ...

Processes in the atomic microcosmos revealed

Physicists at Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU) have successfully generated controlled electron pulses in the attosecond range. They used optical traveling waves formed by laser pulses of varying wavelengths. ...

When nuclei catch up with electrons

In an attosecond study of the H2 molecule, physicists at ETH Zurich found that for light atomic nuclei, as contained in most organic and biological molecules, the correlation between electronic and nuclear motions cannot ...

Hard X-ray flash breaks speed record

Reactions in solar panels, catalytic converters, and other devices are governed by the quick motion of electrons. To capture the movement of these electrons, scientists use pulses of extremely high energy x-rays. The challenge ...

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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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