From Instantaneous to Eternal; Scientific American Time; Special Editions; by David Labrador; 2 Page(s)
(A billionth of a billionth of a second.) The most fleeting events that scientists can clock are measured in attoseconds. Researchers have created light pulses lasting just 250 attoseconds using high-speed lasers. Although the interval seems unimaginably brief, it is an aeon compared with the Planck time—about 10–43 second—which is believed to be the shortest possible duration.
(A millionth of a billionth of a second.) An atom in a molecule typically completes a single vibration in 10 to 100 femtoseconds. Even fast chemical reactions generally take hundreds of femtoseconds to complete. The interaction of light with pigments in the retina—the process that allows vision—takes about 200 femtoseconds.