Attosecond

SI unit of time

An attosecond (as) is a very short period of time.[1] It is equal to one quintillionth of a second (or 0.000000000000000001 seconds). It can also be written as 10−18 seconds. Because it can be hard to think about how short this period of time is, on this page is a list of descriptions of periods of time longer than 1 attosecond, but shorter than one femtosecond (which is 10−15 seconds). This should help when thinking about periods of time that have different orders of magnitude.

Here is a list of time spans shorter than 1 attosecond:

  • 10−21 seconds = 1 zeptosecond
  • 10−24 seconds = 1 yoctosecond
  • 10−27 seconds = 1 xonosecond
  • 10−30 seconds = 1 vecosecond
  • 10−33 seconds = 1 mecosecond
  • 10−36 seconds = 1 duecosecond
  • 10−39 seconds = 1 trecosecond
  • 10−42 seconds = 1 tetrecosecond
  • 10−45 seconds = 1 pentecosecond
  • 10−48 seconds = 1 hexecosecond
  • 1 attosecond: It takes 1 attosecond for light to travel the length of three hydrogen atoms.
  • 1 attosecond: It takes 1 attosecond for an atomic nucleus to react when another particle hits it.
  • 150 attoseconds: It takes 150 attoseconds for an electron to circle the nucleus of an atom.
  • 320 attoseconds: It takes about 300 attoseconds for an electron to jump from one atom to another.

Related pagesEdit

NotesEdit

  1. Website of the BIPM (Bureau International des Poids et Mesures) http://www.bipm.org/en/si/si_brochure/chapter3/prefixes.html Archived 2011-10-14 at WebCite