Space & Science

Swiss Physicists Set Record for Shortest Laser Pulse.

Dr. Thomas Gaumnitz, a postdoctoral fellow in Professor Wörner’s group, with the setup that generates the shortest laser pulses in the world. Image credit: ETH Zurich.

We are often caught talking about the advances being made in science. But no sooner than we discuss this, better and amazing new researchers or inventions come your way. Something Par excellence has been researched by the Swiss physicist who will considerably open wider windows to the hidden secrets in the name of science.

We have, by far, unfolded only a few types of research on the universe at the very modest. But the Swiss physicists have found a way to completely understand the dynamics of chemical reactions. If this happens, the scientists will be truly able to study the motion of particles while a chemical reaction takes place. It is not unknown a fact that everything is a result of a chemical reaction. Therefore, if we will be able to learn the dynamics of a chemical reaction, the definition of science we know today could possibly be changing tomorrow.

Usually, the molecules rotate with a speed as fast as picoseconds (10-12 s). And the electrons, in particular, have a speed of attoseconds (10-18 s). The Swiss scientist, Hans Worner, and his team have now succeeded in generating the world’s shortest frequency laser pulse that runs with duration of 43 attoseconds (10-18 s). It is remarkable to note that this is the shortest controlled event, ever, created by mankind. Using this pulse, one can capture every movement of an electron happening within a chemical reaction.

The scientists truly believe that the attoseconds (10-18 s) spectroscopy will greatly contribute to development in science and making of efficient solar cells, since, it has been made possible for the first time ever to follow the process of excitation happening through the sunlight to generate electricity. The in-depth knowledge of the charge transfer pathway could lead to a much better understanding, thus optimising the efficiency for the next generation photosensitive elements is possible.

While most of us are merely thinking of attoseconds (10-18 s) spectroscopy as a way to lead us to a better observation, professor Hans has more to add. Professor Worner says that it is now possible to even manipulate the chemical reactions. Now that it is made possible to break chemical bonds, the scientists can shift charges at certain locations in the molecule. These targeted interventions were nevertheless, impossible until now since the timescale of an electron was unreached.

The professor and his team have started to make progressions using the shortest known, attoseconds (10-18 s) spectroscopy to generate even shorter laser pulses. To get an even better observation, the wider X-ray spectrum can probe more and more elements. Therefore, it will be possible to trace the migrations of electrons and other subatomic particles with even shorter resolution.

Article by Pooja.

Swiss Physicists Set Record for Shortest Laser Pulse.


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