(STUDY FINDS) -- FRANKFURT, Germany — The blink of an eye seems to most people like an incredibly fast act. Scientists in Germany however, say they’ve witnessed something that makes the blink of an eye seem as slow as watching paint dry. Atomic physicists at Goethe University have measured the time it takes for a photon to cross a hydrogen molecule; a process that can only be measured in zeptoseconds.
In 1999, Egyptian chemist Ahmed Zewail won the Nobel Prize for measuring the speed of molecules changing their shape. Zewail founded the science of femtochemistry, which measures the formation and division of chemical bonds in femtoseconds. This revolutionary measurement equals 0.000000000000001 seconds.
The new study has now broken this record, finding that it takes 247 zeptoseconds for photons to cross hydrogen molecules. Study authors explain that a zeptosecond is one trillionth of one billionth of a second, or 0.000000000000000000001 seconds.
Advertisement - story continues below