What is attosecond?
An attosecond (as) is a unit of time equal to one trillionth of a second or 10 to the 18th power. To put the attosecond in relation to the speed of light, an attosecond allows light to travel the length of three hydrogen atoms. An electron transfers between two atoms in approximately 320 attoseconds.
The attosecond is also part of a chain of chronological measurements that goes back to the second.
The measurements start with the femtosecond (fs), which is 1,000 attoseconds. A picosecond (ps) is 1,000 femtoseconds. A nanosecond (ns) is 1,000 microseconds (μs). A microsecond is 1,000 nanoseconds, and a millisecond (ms or msec) is 1,000 microseconds. This precise chain of chronological measurements is used to describe a lot of technological activity, including microprocessor clock frequency or cycle time, data transfer rates, and other types of hardware events.
New laser technologies have reached speeds measured in attoseconds, with the fastest recorded laser pulses being dozens of attoseconds.