Electrons in the Fast Lane
By using ultrafast laser flashes, scientists at the University of Rostock in collaboration with researchers of the Max Planck Institute for Solid State Research in Stuttgart have generated and measured the shortest electron pulse to date. The electron pulse was created by using lasers to remove electrons from a tiny metal tip and lasted only 53 attoseconds, that is, 53 billionths of a billionth of a second. This study is setting a new speed record in man-made control of electric currents in solid materials. The research opens new avenues for advancing the performance of electronics and information technologies, as well as for developing new scientific methodologies for visualizing phenomena in the microcosm at ultimate speeds.
Video: Electrons in the Fast Lane (with German subtitles)