Physics

What happens when you explode a chemical bond?

Light-induced breakage of chemical bonds can lead to damage in the body and environment, but techniques for studying this photochemical reaction have been limited to before and after snapshots. With attosecond lasers and a technique to probe the energy states of photoexcited molecules, chemists have made a movie of the process preceding breakup. The technique will help study biological molecules that absorb light without breaking bonds, such as rhodopsin in the retina.