- Centre for Free-Electron Laser Science, The University of Hamburg, Max Born Institute, Aarhus University
- first first
- Deutschland ()
The first footage of molecular rotation is over more than one-and-a-half periods of the laser-induced rotational dynamics of carbonylsulfide (OCS) molecules, achieved by a team of scientists from the Centre for Free-Electron Laser Science, The University of Hamburg, the Max Born Institute, and Aarhus University, and published in Nature on 29 July 2019.
The event lasted just 125 trillionths of a second and was kicked off by using precisely tuned pulses of laser light, pulsing every 38 trillionths of a second. A subsequent laser pulse with a longer wavelength was used to determine the position of the molecules in intervals of roughly 0.2 trillionths of a second. This final pulse destroys the molecule, so each experiment needs to be completely rebuilt each time. Recording on such small scales and timeframes has been a long-standing goal