Free Newsletters - Space - Defense - Environment - Energy - Solar - Nuclear
by Staff Writers
London (UPI) Mar 13, 2013
British researchers say they are working on a movie camera so fast it will be able to record processes taking place inside atoms and molecules.
Scientists at the U.K. Science and Technology Facilities Council said they're working to develop an X-ray camera that will create the shortest pulses ever made, TG Daily reported Wednesday.
The researchers said their goal is to be able to generate X-ray laser pulses shorter than 1 attosecond -- a millionth of a millionth of a millionth of a second. Currently, the best that's ever been achieved is 67 attoseconds.
"Such pulses will be important for observing and influencing processes within molecules, atoms and nuclei which occur at progressively smaller sizes and faster time scales," researcher David Dunning said.
The scientists say they eventually hope to create film records at resolution down to the atomic level, as opposed to current technology that can only "freeze-frame" a single image of electrons within atoms.
The 1-attosecond timing will not be easy to achieve, they acknowledged.
"Such short timescales are difficult to conceive. To put them into context, stretching out one attosecond to one second is the equivalent to stretching out one second to 30 billion years -- or more than twice the age of the universe."
Understanding Time and Space
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement|