Sources and Science of Attosecond Light

Philip H. Bucksbaum

Existing techniques and cutting-edge light sources are opening up the attosecond realm—and illuminating the world of electron motion.


figureArtistic representation of a coherent (laser-like) X-ray pulse. [Tenio Popmintchev, JILA, University of Colorado at Boulder]

An attosecond (from the Danish word for “eighteen”) marks an interval of 10–18 seconds. The timescale between 1 and 1,000 attoseconds (10–18 to 10–15 seconds), seemingly inconceivable on the level of ordinary experience, is highly significant in molecular physics and chemistry, because this is the timescale on which electrons move.

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Publish Date: 01 May 2015

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