Using laser pulses to direct protons

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Using ultrashort laser pulses an international team at LMU Munich and the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics has managed to manipulate the positions of atoms in hydrocarbon molecules in a targeted fashion.

Laser physicists steer atoms in molecules with light: A laser pulse removed an outer hydrogen atom from one side of a hydrocarbon molecule and directed it to the opposite side, where it reattached. Image: Alexander Gelin

Researchers in the Departments of Physics and Chemistry at LMU Munich and the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (MPQ) have used light to reconfigure hydrocarbons. By applying ultrashort laser pulses they removed an outer hydrogen atom from one side of a hydrocarbon molecule and directed it to the opposite side, where it reattached. ...

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