In the blink of an eye, more attoseconds have expired than the age of Earth measured in – minutes. A lot more. To be precise, an attosecond is one billionth of a billionth of a second.
The attosecond timescale is where you must go to study the electron action that is the starting point of all of chemistry. Not surprisingly, chemists are most eager to explore it with X-rays, the region of the electromagnetic spectrum that can probe the core electrons of atoms, the electrons that uniquely identify atomic species.
Heralded as the science of the 21st century by Science and The Economist, attosecond science is a new frontier of molecular and material science. It is expected to catalyze novel applications in a wide range of fields such as nanotechnology and life sciences, based on the ultimate visualization and control of the quantum nature of the electron.
Ali Belkacem, a chemist with the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, has been using powerful laboratory-scale lasers to test whether multidimensional nonlinear x-ray spectroscopy on the attosecond timescale is practical for the light sources of the future – and just what combination of beam characteristics is needed to define them.
"Chemistry is inherently dynamical," he has said. "That means, to make inroads in understanding – and ultimately controlling – chemical reactions we have to understand how atoms combine to form molecules; how electrons and nuclei couple; how molecules interact, react, and transform; how electrical charges flow; and how different forms of energy move within a molecule or across molecular boundaries. Most importantly, we have to know how all these things behave in a correlated way, dynamically in time and space, both at the electron and atomic levels."
Belkacem will give a presentation at the 2013 AAAS annual meeting in Boston titled "Attosecond Science for Steering Chemical Reactions." The talk is part of the panel session titled "Attosecond Science in Chemical, Molecular Imaging, Spintronics, and Energy Science," which is scheduled for February 17, from 8:30 AM to 11:30 AM in Room 306 of the Hynes Convention Center.
Sunday, February 17, 8:30 AM to 11:30 AM
Room 306, Hynes Convention Center
Jon Weiner | Source: EurekAlert!
Further information: www.lbl.gov
More articles from Life Sciences:
In Early Earth, Iron Helped RNA Catalyze Electron Transfer
21.05.2013 | Georgia Institute of Technology, Research Communications
Resistance to last-line antibiotic makes bacteria resistant to immune system
21.05.2013 | American Society for Microbiology
University of Würzburg physicists have succeeded in creating a new type of laser.
Its operation principle is completely different from conventional devices, which opens up the possibility of a significantly reduced energy input requirement. The researchers report their work in the current issue of Nature.
It also emits light the waves of which are in phase with one another: the polariton laser, developed ...
Innsbruck physicists led by Rainer Blatt and Peter Zoller experimentally gained a deep insight into the nature of quantum mechanical phase transitions.
They are the first scientists that simulated the competition between two rival dynamical processes at a novel type of transition between two quantum mechanical orders. They have published the results of their work in the journal Nature Physics.
“When water boils, its molecules are released as vapor. We call this ...
Researchers have shown that, by using global positioning systems (GPS) to measure ground deformation caused by a large underwater earthquake, they can provide accurate warning of the resulting tsunami in just a few minutes after the earthquake onset.
For the devastating Japan 2011 event, the team reveals that the analysis of the GPS data and issue of a detailed tsunami alert would have taken no more than three minutes. The results are published on 17 May in Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences, an open access journal of ...
A new study of glaciers worldwide using observations from two NASA satellites has helped resolve differences in estimates of how fast glaciers are disappearing and contributing to sea level rise.
The new research found glaciers outside of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets, repositories of 1 percent of all land ice, lost an average of 571 trillion pounds (259 trillion kilograms) of mass every year during the six-year study period, making the oceans rise 0.03 inches (0.7 mm) per year. ...
About 99% of the world’s land ice is stored in the huge ice sheets of Antarctica and Greenland, while only 1% is contained in glaciers.
However, the meltwater of glaciers contributed almost as much to the rise in sea level in the period 2003 to 2009 as the two ice sheets: about one third. This is one of the results of an international study with the involvement of geographers from the University of Zurich.
21.05.2013 | Studies and Analyses
21.05.2013 | Life Sciences
21.05.2013 | Studies and Analyses
17.05.2013 | Event News
15.05.2013 | Event News
08.05.2013 | Event News