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German scientists shoot world's fastest movie: gone in 50 femtoseconds

James Trew, @itstrew
January 26, 2012
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No, it's not another Fast & Furious sequel, it's something much quicker -- 800 billion times quicker, to be precise. Scientists at DESY (Germany's largest particle physics center) are premiering the Guinness World Record-holding fastest "movie" to a select audience at its light sources users' meeting. The film was shot using an X-ray Laser, and splitting the light in two. By firing one beam off on a minuscule detour (0.015 millimeters) and delaying its arrival by 50 femtoseconds, two separate images are captured. Okay, so two frames isn't exactly Lord of the Rings, but it's still the smallest interval ever recorded. This technique won't be popping up in Hollywood any time soon -- instead, it's actually used for snapping subatomic glimpses of ultra-fast molecular processes and chemical reactions. Despite the brevity of this record-breaking flick, the plot is apparently still more complex than Tokyo Drift.

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