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A picosecond is 10−12 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 31,700 years.

The name is formed by the SI prefix pico and the SI unit second. It is abbreviated as ps.

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

• 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 – time taken by light in a vacuum to travel approximately 0.30mm
• 1 picosecond – half-life of a bottom quark
• ~1 picosecond – lifetime of a single H3O+ (hydronium) ion in water at 20°C[1]
• picoseconds to nanoseconds - phenomena observable by dielectric spectroscopy
• 1.2 picoseconds – switching time of the world's fastest transistor (845 GHz, as of 2006)[2]
• 1.7 picoseconds - rotational correlation time of water[3]
• 3.3 picoseconds (approximately) – time taken for light to travel 1 millimeter
• 10 picoseconds after the Big Bangelectromagnetism separates from the other fundamental forces
• 10-150 picoseconds - rotational correlation times of a molecule (184 g/mol) from hot to frozen water[4]
• 108.7827757 picoseconds – transition time between the two hyperfine levels of the ground state of the caesium-133 atom at absolute zero
• 330 picoseconds (approximately) – the time it takes a common 3.0 GHz computer CPU to add two integers

References

1. ^ "Lifetime of single hydronium (H3O+) ion at 20°C". BioNumbers. Retrieved 2011-10-10.
2. ^ James E. Kloeppel (2006-12-11). "World's Fastest Transistor Approaches Goal of Terahertz Device".
3. ^ Lankhorst, D.; Schriever, J.; Leyte, J. C. "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.
4. ^ Bulla, I.; Törmälä, P.; Lindberg, J. J.; Mikalsen, Ø.; Southern, J. T.; Edlund, K.; Eliasen, M.; Herskind, C. et al. (1975). "Spin Probe Studies on the Dynamic Structure of Dimethyl Sulfoxide-Water Mixtures". Acta Chemica Scandinavica 29a: 89. doi:10.3891/acta.chem.scand.29a-0089. edit
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 Powerlase Photonics introduces their first mJ level, 200W, 10 Picosecond ... Optics.org Thu, 23 May 2013 05:55:18 -0700 Ultrafast laser systems have the capability to machine most materials with negligible thermal conduction and hence almost no heat affected zone (cold machining). To date, limited available power and hence the low throughput has been the major drawback ... ElectroIQ Spectra-Physics introduces industrial picosecond laser ElectroIQ Fri, 10 May 2013 09:38:02 -0700 Spectra-Physics, a Newport Corporation brand, introduces Spirit ps 1040-10, an industrial-grade picosecond laser for precision micromachining applications. The new laser delivers high finesse with exceptional beam quality (M2< 1.2), high stability (<1 ... DFB 1060 nm Laser Diode Module enables picosecond capabilities. ThomasNet Industrial News Room Fri, 17 May 2013 05:36:11 -0700 The innovative 10xx nm DFB laser diode module, featuring a single-mode laser diode with an on-chip distributed feedback grating delivers high peak power for sub-nanosecond and picosecond pulse operation. Capable of peak powers up to 800 mW for a ... Picosecond lasers come of age for micromachining Industrial Laser Solutions Magazine Fri, 03 May 2013 14:18:16 -0700 It has been known for some time that lasers with pulsewidths in the picosecond regime can offer significant advantages over longer pulse lasers for a wide variety of industrial microprocessing tasks. In particular, these benefits include virtually no ... COHERENT, INC. : High Energy Picosecond Pulses Enable Thicker Materials 4-traders (press release) Sun, 12 May 2013 18:45:22 -0700 Talisker lasers are a family of industrial picosecond products, well documented to deliver higher quality process finished goods than conventional pulsed lasers or non-laser micromachining methods. Picosecond lasers achieve the quality improvement ... Fianium launches industrial picosecond lasers Optics.org Wed, 24 Apr 2013 06:46:08 -0700 Fianium, Southampton, UK, a manufacturer of high-performance ultrafast fiber lasers for applications in bio-medical, materials processing and scientific research, has launched the Hylase, a new 1064nm picosecond laser, based on fiber laser technology. Industrial Laser Solutions Magazine Industrial picosecond laser Industrial Laser Solutions Magazine Tue, 23 Apr 2013 15:31:23 -0700 Southampton, UK - The new Hylase 1064 nm picosecond laser from Fianium, based on state-of-the-art fiber laser technology, provides high stability and long lifetime, making it useful for 24/7 industrial use. The remote laser head, with a small footprint ... Ultrafast Three-Dimensional Imaging of Lattice Dynamics in Individual Gold ... Science Careers Blog Thu, 23 May 2013 11:17:08 -0700 Here, we report three dimensional imaging of the generation and subsequent evolution of coherent acoustic phonons on the picosecond time scale within a single gold nanocrystal using an X-ray free electron laser, providing insights into the physics of ...
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