The world's first imaging oscillation of visible light (illustration from the site mpg.de).
Group of German and Austrian physicists led by Professor Franz Kraus (Ferenc Krausz) from the Institute for Quantum Optics at the Max Planck (Max-Planck-Institute for Quantum Optics) for the first time in the world recorded a change in the electric field of visible light.
Electric and magnetic fields visible light change direction about a thousand trillion times per second, physicists still do not manage to write down all the details of these processes are fleeting.
In the experiment, a red light, the oscillating electric field which was able to record with a resolution of 100 attoseconds (atto — minus 10 in the eighteenth degree).
It was the world's first visualization of the electric field of visible light.
Interestingly, the light pulse, which recorded the scientists also was very short — only a few complete oscillations.
The key to the new technique is the recent creation of attosecond ultraviolet laser.
His short and powerful pulse knocked electrons out of the atoms of the material, which under the influence of red light, slowed down or accelerated, depending on the phase of the measured wave.
Apparatus fixed fluctuations in the electron energy (as a function of detection delay) which reflect variations in the electric field intensity of red light.
Established physicists setting, in fact, is the world's attosecond oscilloscope. It is useful in such advanced research, such as molecular electronics and X-ray lasers.
By the way, in the same Max Planck Institute was designed by the world's fastest stopwatch, and it is estimated that one moment was ten times shorter and lasts 0.0000000000000001 seconds.