Excited Electrons Seen Leaving Helium Atoms

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Excited Electrons Seen Leaving Helium Atoms

Post by LloydK on Thu Nov 24, 2016 2:56 pm

Smallest sliver of time yet measured sees electrons fleeing atom
https://www.newscientist.com/article/2112537-smallest-sliver-of-time-yet-measured-sees-electrons-fleeing-atom

Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics in Garching, Germany ... measured the entire ejection of electrons from a helium atom from start to finish with zeptosecond precision (10^-21 seconds), marking the smallest time slot ever measured.

... the team fired ... ultraviolet laser pulse at a helium atom [that] lasted just 100 to 200 attoseconds, or 10^-18 seconds.

They also fired a near-infrared laser pulse, lasting just four femtoseconds (1 femtosecond is 10^-15 seconds) ... able to detect an escaping electron.... Depending on the electromagnetic field of the laser pulse, the electron either accelerated or decelerated.

... The ejections took between 7 and 20 attoseconds

... The researchers were also able to measure how the electrons divided up the laser’s energy, taking an even or uneven share. In some cases, one of the two electrons grabbed all of the energy. Several factors influenced this energy split, from the quantum correlation between the electrons to the electromagnetic state of the laser field....

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