A picosecond (abbreviated as ps) is a unit of time formed by the prefix pico- and the SI unit second, equal to 10−12 or 11 000 000 000 000 (one trillionth) of a second. That is one trillionth, or one millionth of one millionth of a second, or 0.000 000 000 001 seconds. A picosecond is to one second as one second is to approximately 31,689 years. Multiple technical approaches achieve imaging within single-digit picoseconds: for example, the streak camera or intensified CCD (ICCD) cameras are able to picture the motion of light.[1][2]

One picosecond is equal to 1000 femtoseconds, or 1/1000 nanoseconds. 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:

See also


  1. ^ "Trillion-frame-per-second video". Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Retrieved 2014-03-06.
  2. ^ "Ultra high speed CCD cameras capture the motion of light". Stanford Computer Optics. Retrieved 2014-03-06.
  3. ^ "Lifetime of single hydronium (H3O+) ion at 20°C". BioNumbers. Retrieved 2011-10-10.
  4. ^ James E. Kloeppel (2006-12-11). "World's Fastest Transistor Approaches Goal of Terahertz Device".
  5. ^ Lankhorst, D.; Schriever, J.; Leyte, J. C. (1982). "Determination of the Rotational Correlation Time of Water by Proton NMR Relaxation in H217O and Some Related Results". Berichte der Bunsengesellschaft für physikalische Chemie. 86 (3): 215–221. doi:10.1002/bbpc.19820860308.
  6. ^ Bulla, I.; Törmälä, P.; Lindberg, J. J.; Mikalsen, Ø.; Southern, J. T.; Edlund, K.; Eliasen, M.; Herskind, C.; Laursen, T.; Pedersen, P. M. L. (1975). "Spin Probe Studies on the Dynamic Structure of Dimethyl Sulfoxide-Water Mixtures". Acta Chemica Scandinavica. 29a: 89–92. doi:10.3891/acta.chem.scand.29a-0089.