Picosecond

Picosecond

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A picosecond is 10−12 of a second
Second
The second is a unit of measurement of time, and is the International System of Units base unit of time. It may be measured using a clock....

. That is one trillionth, or one millionth of one millionth of a second
Second
The second is a unit of measurement of time, and is the International System of Units base unit of time. It may be measured using a clock....

, or 0.000 000 000 001 seconds. A picosecond is to one second as one second is to 31,700 years.

The name is formed by the SI prefix
SI prefix
The International System of Units specifies a set of unit prefixes known as SI prefixes or metric prefixes. An SI prefix is a name that precedes a basic unit of measure to indicate a decadic multiple or fraction of the unit. Each prefix has a unique symbol that is prepended to the unit symbol...

 pico and the SI unit second. It is abbreviated as ps.

One picosecond is equal to 1000 femtoseconds, or 1/1000 nanosecond
Nanosecond
A nanosecond is one billionth of a second . One nanosecond is to one second as one second is to 31.7 years.The word nanosecond is formed by the prefix nano and the unit second. Its symbol is ns....

. Because the next SI unit is 1000 times larger, measurements of 10−11 and 10−10 second are typically expressed as tens or hundreds of picoseconds. Some notable measurements in this range include:
  • shorter times

  • 1.0 picoseconds (1.0 ps) – cycle time for electromagnetic frequency 1 terahertz (THz) (1 x 1012 hertz), an inverse unit. This corresponds to a wavelength of 0.3 mm, as can be calculated by multiplying 1 ps by the speed of light (approximately 3 x 108 m/s) to determine the distance traveled.
  • 1 picosecond – half-life of a bottom quark
    Quark
    A quark is an elementary particle and a fundamental constituent of matter. Quarks combine to form composite particles called hadrons, the most stable of which are protons and neutrons, the components of atomic nuclei. Due to a phenomenon known as color confinement, quarks are never directly...

  • ~1 picosecond – lifetime of a single (hydronium
    Hydronium
    In chemistry, a hydronium ion is the cation , a type of oxonium ion produced by protonation of water. This cation is often used to represent the nature of the proton in aqueous solution, where the proton is highly solvated...

    ) ion in water at 20°C
  • picoseconds to nanoseconds - phenomena observable by dielectric spectroscopy
    Dielectric spectroscopy
    Dielectric spectroscopy , and also known as electrochemical impedance spectroscopy, measures the dielectric properties of a medium as a function of frequency...

  • 1.2 picoseconds – switching time of the world's fastest transistor
    Transistor
    A transistor is a semiconductor device used to amplify and switch electronic signals and power. It is composed of a semiconductor material with at least three terminals for connection to an external circuit. A voltage or current applied to one pair of the transistor's terminals changes the current...

     (845 GHz, as of 2006)
  • 1.7 picoseconds - rotational correlation time
    Rotational correlation time
    Rotational correlation time is the time it takes for a molecule to rotate one radian, on average. Rotational correlation times are in the order of picoseconds, for example 1.7 picoseconds for water or in the tens to hundreds range for small organic molecules...

     of water
  • 3.3 picoseconds (approximately) – time taken for light
    Light
    Light or visible light is electromagnetic radiation that is visible to the human eye, and is responsible for the sense of sight. Visible light has wavelength in a range from about 380 nanometres to about 740 nm, with a frequency range of about 405 THz to 790 THz...

     to travel 1 millimeter
  • 10 picoseconds after the Big Bang
    Big Bang
    The Big Bang theory is the prevailing cosmological model that explains the early development of the Universe. According to the Big Bang theory, the Universe was once in an extremely hot and dense state which expanded rapidly. This rapid expansion caused the young Universe to cool and resulted in...

     – electromagnetism
    Electromagnetism
    Electromagnetism is one of the four fundamental interactions in nature. The other three are the strong interaction, the weak interaction and gravitation...

     separates from the other fundamental forces
  • 10-150 picoseconds - rotational correlation time
    Rotational correlation time
    Rotational correlation time is the time it takes for a molecule to rotate one radian, on average. Rotational correlation times are in the order of picoseconds, for example 1.7 picoseconds for water or in the tens to hundreds range for small organic molecules...

    s of a molecule (184 g/mol) from hot to frozen water
  • 108.7827757 picoseconds – transition time between the two hyperfine levels of the ground state of the caesium-133 atom at absolute zero
    Absolute zero
    Absolute zero is the theoretical temperature at which entropy reaches its minimum value. The laws of thermodynamics state that absolute zero cannot be reached using only thermodynamic means....

  • 330 picoseconds (approximately) – the time it takes a common 3.0 GHz
    GHZ
    GHZ or GHz may refer to:# Gigahertz .# Greenberger-Horne-Zeilinger state — a quantum entanglement of three particles.# Galactic Habitable Zone — the region of a galaxy that is favorable to the formation of life....

     computer CPU to add two integer
    Integer
    The integers are formed by the natural numbers together with the negatives of the non-zero natural numbers .They are known as Positive and Negative Integers respectively...

    s

  • Longer times
    Nanosecond
    A nanosecond is one billionth of a second . One nanosecond is to one second as one second is to 31.7 years.The word nanosecond is formed by the prefix nano and the unit second. Its symbol is ns....