Atom-hopping electrons have journey timed


ELECTRONS, it turns out, can hop between atoms in a mere 320 quintillionths of a second. Alexander Föhlsich at the University of Hamburg, Germany, and his colleagues used what is known as a “core-hole clock” to time electrons as they zipped from a sulphur atom to an adjacent ruthenium metal surface. The researchers fired X-rays at the sulphur, causing an electron near the atom’s centre to become excited and jump, leaving behind an empty “core-hole” in its place. “The clock begins to tick at the moment this core-hole is created,
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