Saturday, June 28, 2008

Femtosecond Laser

Fabulous Femtosecond Laser

Bringing real-time to a whole other dimension...

Take a moment, a minute (or so), to reflect on what is real-time for you. When is now now? Depending on what we are applying the timescale for, we talk about real-time data. In case of the Indian Ocean tsunami, data collected every 10-15 min would be sufficient for issuing a warning, whereas for a tsunami warning in the Mediterranean we need data every 1-3 min. Then it is called real-time. But this is far from real if we look at the requirement for GPS data where sub-seconds is what we need to produce the quality of satellite navigation we want.

Now, dwell a few seconds on femtosecond, and feel free to simulateously think about what a nanometer is. This is then the real-time of a Fabulous Femtosecond Laser. No less - or should I say - No More...

(A femtosecond is one billionth of one millionth of a second. For context, a femtosecond is to a second as a second is to about 32 million years.)

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