11 January 2006

Watching Molecules React in Real Time

For the first time, A team from six research institutions in Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom has become the first to watch a molecule from the inside as it falls apart.

Using high speed laser pulses, the team was able to reproduce "snapshots" of the way the electron structure of the molecule changed over the vanishingly small period of time, ten to the minus 12 seconds.

This type of experiment reveals more about the energy economics of molecular scale reactions. While physicists work from one direction, nanotechnologists are working from the other direction. When subatomic and molecular dynamics are finally truly understood, the human use of matter and material will just be beginning.
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