Electron in Motion

An electron rides on a light wave after just having been pulled away from an atom. Credit: Lund University Scientists have filmed an electron in motion for the first time, using a new technique that will allow researchers to study the tiny particle's movements directly. Previously it was impossible to photograph electrons because of their extreme speediness, so scientists had to rely on more indirect methods. These methods could only measure the effect of an electron's movement, whereas the new technique can capture the entire event. Extremely short flashes of light are necessary to capture an electron in motion. A technology developed within the last few years can generate short pulses of intense laser light, called attosecond pulses, to get the job done. "It takes about 150 attoseconds for an electron to circle the nucleus of an atom. An attosecond is 10-18 seconds long, or, expressed in another way: an attosecond is related to a second as a second is related to the age of

Electron in Motion

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