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Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary
picosecond

1966, from pico- + second (n.).

Wiktionary
picosecond

n. (SI-unit pico second time)

WordNet
picosecond

n. one trillionth of a second; one thousandth of a nanosecond

Wikipedia
Picosecond

A picosecond is an SI unit of time equal to 10 or / 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 31,710 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.

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 and 10 second are typically expressed as tens or hundreds of picoseconds. Some notable measurements in this range include:

  • shorter times
  • 1.0 picoseconds (1.0 ps) – cycle time for electromagnetic frequency 1 terahertz (THz) (1 x 10 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 10 m/s) to determine the distance traveled. 1 THz is in the Far infrared.
  • 1 picosecond – time taken by light in a vacuum to travel approximately 0.30 mm
  • 1 picosecond – half-life of a bottom quark
  • ~1 picosecond – lifetime of a single ( hydronium) ion in water at 20 °C
  • picoseconds to nanoseconds – phenomena observable by dielectric spectroscopy
  • 1.2 picoseconds – switching time of the world's fastest transistor (845 GHz, as of 2006)
  • 1.7 picoseconds - rotational correlation time of water
  • 3.3 picoseconds (approximately) – time taken for light to travel 1 millimeter
  • 10 picoseconds after the Big Bang – electromagnetism separates from the other fundamental forces
  • 10–150 picoseconds – rotational correlation times of a molecule (184 g/mol) from hot to frozen water
  • 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
  • Longer times

Usage examples of "picosecond".

In the final few picoseconds, the mass will be multiplied by a factor of about an octillion, and with a spin to bring the rotation parameter up to point ninety-nine, that will hold the static limit far enough above the event horizon to allow the finishing touches of hydrogen and antihydrogen infall.

Abruptly it pulsed once, twice, flared brightly for a glaring instant, a blinding picosecond, before the ship damped the image.

It tried signalling, telling the outside universe of its plight, but the signals just seemed to loop back and it found itself receiving its own signal a picosecond after it had sent it.

Thunder crashed through the inner space of the Matrix, and the dark of nothingness was riven by a picosecond of silvery incandescence.

Potentially, eight crossed beams could create the equivalent of a collapsium lattice, for picosecond intervals.

The pressure of the blast crushed superheated plasma to the awesome density of degenerate matter, and held the pellet together for the few picoseconds needed to initiate the next stage of the reaction.

The resemblance was strengthened by the fact that most of the people here were wearing wired helmets, much like those worn by a combat crew in space, connecting their brains ever more closely to the optelectronic hardware that took its orders from them, saving picoseconds in whatever processing the giant computers were about.

The pressure of the blast crushed superheated plasma to the awesome density of degenerate matter, and held the pellet together for the few picoseconds needed to initiate the next stage of the reaction.

The resemblance was strengthened by the fact that most of the people here were wearing wired helmets, much like those worn by a combat crew in space, connecting their brains ever more closely to the optelectronic hardware that took its orders from them, saving picoseconds in whatever processing the giant computers were about.

So what's the zeroth persona at one moment can be the one-hundred-fifty-ninth tier a picosecond later, and then pop back up, and they all can spawn subprocesses and subpersonas customized to the task at hand.