times approaching the timescales of electrons in individual molecules? Or that designer molecules for health care will be created and reproduced using molecule-milling machines in which every atom is placed individually? Or that combustion reactions will be made entirely by-product-free by sending the reactants through aligning and exciting laser-preparation instruments on their way to the burn? Perhaps, but then again much of the technology we take for granted today would have seemed completely out of reach 20 years ago. At the heart of this progress in technology is the constant search for faster observation and control. We stand at the threshold of the age when the timescale at hand is in some sense ultimate, namely that of the atoms and molecules which themselves make up matter. Control at this timescale is certain to launch truly revolutionary technology.



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