With our new system, you can selectively look in a desired direction and at a very small part of the picture in front of you at any given time, by controlling the timing with femto-second -- quadrillionth
of a second -- precision," says Ali Hajimiri, Bren Professor of Electrical Engineering and Medical Engineering in the Division of Engineering and Applied Science at Caltech, and the principal investigator of a paper describing the new camera.
The new camera technology opens up many possibilities, especially for scientists - natural processes taking place in a trillionth or even a quadrillionth
of second can now be captured on tape.
The new laser achieves 35 femtosecond pulses (a femtosecond is one quadrillionth
of a second) at a wavelength of 800 nanometers.
With the leap in laser technology from pulse duration measured in nanoseconds (1 billionth of a second) to one measured in femtoseconds (1 quadrillionth
of a second) new vistas opened in the practice of cataract surgery.
Femtosecond technology has truly revolutionised this area through Intralase, which uses tiny pulses of laser, a quadrillionth
of a second each, to induce a uniform layer of microscopic bubbles just beneath the corneal surface to create a flap.
In water, each bond lasts only one 100 quadrillionth
of a second (Curtis, 1983), yet so many are being formed and broken at any given instant that they cause the water molecules in a drop of water to cling together with considerable strength and yet to resist clinging together further, even when pressure is applied to them.
However, it is given as a main entry in our 1998 printing of Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary, 10th edition, where it is defined as one quadrillionth
of a second.
In current-generation 2PP technology, a laser pulse that lasts approximately one quadrillionth
of a second sends a burst of energy into unset resin, causing the molecules around the pulse to fuse together into two adjoining cone shapes.
In the technique, two lasers at different wavelengths (colors) send ultra-short pulses (lasting only a femtosecond, or a quadrillionth
of a second) on a blood vessel.
These pulse lasers cut an object the size of a hair and at a speed of a quadrillionth
of a second, with no collateral tissue damage.
With the IntraLase Method, the surgeon precisely controls the first step of LASIK using a computer-controlled laser that delivers rapid pulses of light, a quadrillionth
of a second each, to a pre-programmed depth and position within the cornea.
Beyond that, the quadrillionth
binary digit beckons.