Today in Chemistry History graphic on Ahmed Zewail (born 26 Feb 1946). Zewail was a Nobel Prize-winning chemist who pioneered work on femtochemistry, using laser flashes to detect the movements of individual atoms during chemical reactions. A diagram shows how ultrafast laser spectroscopy uses an initial laser pulse to trigger a reaction and a second pulse to detect changes.
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On this day (26 February) in 1946, Egyptian-American chemist Ahmed Zewail was born. Zewail pioneered femtochemistry, the use of laser pulses to see the movement of individual atoms during chemical reactions. This graphic gives an overview of the ultrafast laser spectroscopy that makes this possible.

For more detail on femtochemistry, read the 1999 Nobel Prize in Chemistry summary here.