Meet the zeptosecond, the shortest unit of time ever measured

Feb 28, 2020
37
17
55
Can somebody please check, it says that a zeptosecond is 21 zeros followed by 1. I think a zeptosecond is 10 to the - 21 seconds, that would mean 20 zeros followed by a 1.:)

UPDATE - I'm not going mad, the article has now been corrected, see footnote to the article. (I'm not going mad, I'm not mad, I'm not going mad, I'm not going mad, I'm not going mad) :)
 
Last edited:
Oct 17, 2020
3
2
10
I am no expert, but I believe that in a sense you both are correct, as they are counting the zero to the left of the decimal point which generally (and logically) is not done.
 
Jul 12, 2020
4
2
15
I am no expert, but I believe that in a sense you both are correct, as they are counting the zero to the left of the decimal point which generally (and logically) is not done.
"or a decimal point followed by 21 zeroes and a 1"

That is clearly not what they are doing. We may pretend to consider what they were thinking, but that is by no means betrayed by the wording.
 
  • Like
Reactions: David J Franks
Oct 18, 2020
1
2
10
Just a minor correction. Hydrogen has 1 proton and 1 electron. Helium has 2 protons, 2 neutrons, and 2 electrons.
The analysis discusses a hydrogen molecule, which consists of two hydrogen atoms; the molecule does contain two protons and two electrons. Upon first reading I made the same mistake. The are using molecules so they knock one electron out of each of the closely spaced atoms.,
 
Oct 18, 2020
1
2
10
Can somebody please check, it says that a zeptosecond is 21 zeros followed by 1. I think a zeptosecond is 10 to the - 21 seconds, that would mean 20 zeros followed by a 1.
New user here, I just signed up to answer this after finding nothing on the net.

From Wikimedia (what about that, a nice html table!)

In words
(long scale)
In words
(short scale)
Prefix (Symbol)DecimalPower
of ten
Order of
magnitude
quadrillionthseptillionthyocto- (y)0.00000000000000000000000110−24−24
trilliardthsextillionthzepto- (z)0.00000000000000000000110−21−21


Table too big, but anyway, there's zepto! 21 places.
 
Feb 28, 2020
37
17
55
New user here, I just signed up to answer this after finding nothing on the net.

From Wikimedia (what about that, a nice html table!)

In words
(long scale)
In words
(short scale)
Prefix (Symbol)DecimalPower
of ten
Order of
magnitude
quadrillionthseptillionthyocto-0.00000000000000000000000110−24−24
trilliardthsextillionthzepto- (z)0.00000000000000000000110−21−21

Table too big, but anyway, there's zepto! 21 places.
The article has now been corrected to contain 20 zeros after the decimal point followed by1. See footnote to the article. :)
 
Oct 17, 2020
3
2
10
"or a decimal point followed by 21 zeroes and a 1"

That is clearly not what they are doing. We may pretend to consider what they were thinking, but that is by no means betrayed by the wording.
"or a decimal point followed by 21 zeroes and a 1"

That is clearly not what they are doing. We may pretend to consider what they were thinking, but that is by no means betrayed by the wording.
Yes, you are correct, and the article was clearly wrong. I was trying to cut slack...probably not a good thing regarding a scientific paper.
 
Feb 28, 2020
37
17
55
It may help to put this measurement in perspective by changing the units to attoseconds ie 10^-18 seconds. The time now becomes .247 attoseconds to cross the molecule of hydrogen. This compares with one tick on the worlds best atomic clock, which is 10^-19 seconds or .1 attoseconds! So, it takes 2.47 ticks to cross the molecule of hydrogen. Phew! not so fast after all :)

"Given that our best atomic clocks agree with one another and can measure ticks as small as 10^(minus19) seconds, or a tenth of a billionth of a billionth of a second"

from;

https://www.livescience.com/what-are-smallest-ticks-of-time.html#:~:text=Given that our best atomic,19 in the journal Physical

All the above posts should not distract from what is a truly astonishing measurement. :)
 

ASK THE COMMUNITY

Latest posts