Atoms deform as they collide

October 23rd, 2005 | Filed under: News, Technology | No Comments »

Using laser pulses that last just 70 femtoseconds (quadrillionths of a second), physicists have observed in greater detail than ever before what happens when atoms collide. The experiments at JILA, a joint institute of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the University of Colorado at Boulder, confirm a decades-old theory of how atoms–like tennis balls–briefly lose form and energy when they hit something. The results will help scientists study other atomic-scale processes and better understand the laws of physics.

via Physorg



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