Scientists have measured the shortest time ever: the time it takes a light particle to pass a Hydrogen Molecule.
That time, for the record, was 247 zeptoseconds. A gyptosecond is 21 zeros and 1 following a trillion, or a decimal point, in a billionth of a second. Previously, researchers were immersed in the world of gyptoseconds; In 2016, the researchers reported in the journal Natural Physics Used lasers to measure time in increments of up to 850 zeptoseconds. This accuracy is a great leap from the 1999 Nobel Prize-winning work, which first measured time in femtoseconds, in billions of seconds.
It takes femtoseconds to break down chemical bonds, but it takes septoseconds for light to travel through a hydrogen molecule (H2). To measure this very short journey, Reinhard Torner, a physicist at the University of Goethe in Germany, and his colleagues were shot dead. X-rays Particle Accelerator in Hamburg, from PETRA III at Toys Electrone-Synchrotron (DESY).
The researchers set up the energy of X-rays so that a single photon or particle of light could knock out two electrons from a hydrogen molecule. (One hydrogen molecule consists of two protons and two electrons.) A photon expels one electron from the molecule and then another, like a pebble at the top of a pool. These interactions created a waveform called the interference method, which Torner and his colleagues could measure with a cold target reconstruction instrument called ion momentum spectroscopy (Goldrims) reaction microscope. This tool is basically the most important particle detection that can record the fastest atomic and molecular reactions. COLTRIMS recorded both the microscope interference method and the state of the hydrogen molecule throughout the interaction.
“Because we knew the spatial orientation Hydrogen molecule, We used the interference of two electron waves to accurately calculate when the photon reached the first place and the second hydrogen atom, “said Sven Grundmann, co-professor of research at the University of Rostock in Germany. Said in a statement.
At the time? Two hundred and forty-seven zeptoseconds, some motion chamber depending on the distance between the hydrogen atoms within the molecule at the exact moment with the photon wings. Captures the speed of light within the molecule in terms of measurement.
“We first noticed that the electron shell in a molecule did not react to light everywhere at the same time,” Torner said in the statement. “The time delay occurs because the information within the molecule propagates only at the speed of light.”
The results were detailed in the Oct.16 issue Science.
First published in Live Science.