Second Thoughts

From Minnesota Alumni Magazine Summer 2014

The University of Minnesota will become the first institution in the world to install the FEI Tecnai ultrafast electron microscope (UEM), which has the ability to watch matter change and evolve in real time—real fast.

How fast? In femtoseconds, or one millionth of a billionth of a second.

David Flannigan, assistant professor of chemical engineering and materials science at the U, says that never before has an instrument provided access to forming images in that amount of time.

And you thought a nanosecond—one billionth of a second—was fast. “Nanoseconds are pretty slow for us,” says Flannigan.



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