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Astonishingly short mid-infrared pulses offer new tool for peering inside atoms and solids

A newly developed laser pulse synthesizer that generates femtosecond pulses at mid-infrared (IR) wavelengths promises to provide scientists with a better view of the inner workings of atoms, molecules and solids. Understanding the behavior of electrons and other atomic elements at time scales shorter than one oscillation of a light wave could lead to a host of new developments, such as extremely sensitive sensors and electronics that are a thousand times faster than what is state-of-the-art today.
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