Centurion, Martin Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Nebraska, Lincoln, Nebraska.
- Atomic scale
- Diffraction from aligned molecules
- Experimental results
- Links to Primary Literature
- Additional Readings
The fastest changes in the structure or shape of a molecule happen on time scales shorter than a picosecond (one picosecond is one trillionth of a second, 1 ps = 10−12 s). For example, the first step in both the photosynthesis and the vision processes is a change in molecular structure triggered by the absorption of a photon, and this happens on a time scale of 100 femtoseconds (1000 fs = 1 ps). Investigating these types of processes in their natural spatial and temporal scale is essential for understanding and controlling dynamics at the molecular level. One of the goals of current research is to visualize the changes in the molecular structure as they happen, which requires an imaging system with a spatial resolution on the atomic scale and a temporal resolution of femtoseconds.
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