The Reading / Listening - A Zeptosecond - Level 1

Today, things are getting shorter. Scientists just measured the shortest unit of time ever recorded. It is a zeptosecond. This is tiny - a trillionth of a billionth of a second. It is a decimal point followed by 20 zeros and then a 1. The scientists study atomic physics. They used special tools to measure how long it takes a photon to cross a hydrogen molecule. The scientists said it took 247 zeptoseconds for this to happen. This is too fast for humans to see.



In 1999, a scientist measured the speed at which molecules change their shape. He found this was one femtosecond, which is a millionth of a billionth of one second. One millisecond is a thousandth of one second. This is the time it takes a neuron in our brain to fire. One nanosecond is one billionth of one second. The shortest unit of time it may be possible to measure is one Planck. This is a decimal point followed by 44 zeros and a 1.

Try the same news story at these levels:

    A Zeptosecond - Level 0 A Zeptosecond - Level 2   or  A Zeptosecond - Level 3

Sources
  • https://interestingengineering.com/new-smallest-time-measurement-how-long-it-takes-a-photon-to-cross-a-hydrogen-molecule
  • https://www.livescience.com/zeptosecond-shortest-time-unit-measured.html
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orders_of_magnitude_(time)


Make sure you try all of the online activities for this reading and listening - There are dictations, multiple choice, drag and drop activities, crosswords, hangman, flash cards, matching activities and a whole lot more. Please enjoy :-)



Phrase Matching

Paragraph 1

  1. things are getting
  2. the shortest unit of time
  3. a trillionth of a billionth
  4. a decimal
  5. The scientists study atomic
  6. They used special
  7. it took 247 zeptoseconds for
  8. This is too fast for
  1. tools
  2. this to happen
  3. point
  4. humans to see
  5. of a second
  6. ever recorded
  7. physics
  8. shorter

Paragraph 2

  1. molecules change
  2. a millionth of a
  3. One millisecond is a thousandth of
  4. One nanosecond is one billionth
  5. The shortest unit
  6. it may be possible
  7. This is a decimal
  8. followed by 44
  1. one second
  2. to measure
  3. point
  4. their shape
  5. zeros and a 1
  6. billionth
  7. of one second
  8. of time

Listening — Listen and fill in the gaps

Today, (1) ___________________ shorter. Scientists just measured the shortest (2) ___________________ ever recorded. It is a zeptosecond. This is tiny - a trillionth (3) ___________________ of a second. It is a decimal point followed by 20 zeros and then a 1. The scientists study atomic physics. They used (4) ___________________ measure how long it takes a photon (5) ___________________ hydrogen molecule. The scientists said it took 247 zeptoseconds for this to happen. This is (6) ___________________ humans to see.

In 1999, a scientist measured (7) ___________________ which molecules (8) ___________________. He found this was one femtosecond, which is (9) ___________________ a billionth of one second. One millisecond is a thousandth of one second. This is the time it takes a neuron in our (10) ___________________. One nanosecond is one billionth of one second. The shortest unit of time it may (11) ___________________ measure is one Planck. This is (12) ___________________ followed by 44 zeros and a 1.

Put a slash (/) where the spaces are

Today,thingsaregettingshorter.Scientistsjustmeasuredtheshortest
unitoftimeeverrecorded.Itisazeptosecond.Thisistiny-atrillionthofab
illionthofasecond.Itisadecimalpointfollowedby20zerosandthena1.T
hescientistsstudyatomicphysics.Theyusedspecialtoolstomeasureho
wlongittakesaphotontocrossahydrogenmolecule.Thescientistssaidit
took247zeptosecondsforthistohappen.Thisistoofastforhumanstose
e.In1999,ascientistmeasuredthespeedatwhichmoleculeschangethe
irshape.Hefoundthiswasonefemtosecond,whichisamillionthofabillio
nthofonesecond.Onemillisecondisathousandthofonesecond.Thisist
hetimeittakesaneuroninourbraintofire.Onenanosecondisonebilliont
hofonesecond.Theshortestunitoftimeitmaybepossibletomeasureiso
nePlanck.Thisisadecimalpointfollowedby44zerosanda1.

Student survey

Write five GOOD questions about this topic in the table. Do this in pairs. Each student must write the questions on his / her own paper. When you have finished, interview other students. Write down their answers.

(Please look at page 12 of the PDF to see a photocopiable example of this activity.)

Discussion — Write your own questions

STUDENT A’s QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student B)

(a) ________________

(b) ________________

(c) ________________

(d) ________________

(e) ________________

(f) ________________

(g) ________________

(h) ________________

STUDENT B’s QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student A)

(i) ________________

(j) ________________

(k) ________________

(l) ________________

(m) ________________

(n) ________________

(o) ________________

(p) ________________





Free writing

Write about this topic for 10 minutes. Comment on your partner’s paper.

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Answers

(Please check your answers against the article above.

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