The Reading / Listening - A Zeptosecond - Level 2

Today, many things are getting shorter. Scientists have just measured something very short. They recorded the shortest unit of time ever measured - a zeptosecond. This is a tiny, tiny fraction of one second - 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 at the Goethe University. They used high-tech equipment 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 sense or see.



In 1999, an Egyptian won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for measuring the speed at which molecules change their shape. He found that one femtosecond equals 0.000000000000001 seconds, or a millionth of a billionth of one second. The zeptosecond measures things in terms of the speed of light. 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 1   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. many things are getting
  2. the shortest unit of time
  3. a trillionth of a billionth
  4. The scientists study
  5. They used high-tech
  6. a hydrogen
  7. it took 247 zeptoseconds for
  8. This is too fast for humans
  1. of a second
  2. this to happen
  3. ever measured
  4. to sense or see
  5. molecule
  6. shorter
  7. equipment
  8. atomic physics

Paragraph 2

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

Listening — Listen and fill in the gaps

Today, many (1) ___________________ shorter. Scientists have just measured something very short. They recorded the shortest unit (2) ___________________ measured - a zeptosecond. This is a tiny, (3) ___________________ one second - a trillionth of a billionth of a second. It is a decimal point followed by 20 zeros and then a 1. The (4) ___________________ physics at the Goethe University. They used high-tech equipment to measure how long it takes a photon (5) ___________________ hydrogen molecule. The scientists said it took 247 zeptoseconds for this to happen. This is too fast for humans to (6) ___________________.

In 1999, an Egyptian won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for (7) ___________________ at which molecules change their shape. He found that one femtosecond equals 0.000000000000001 seconds, or (8) ___________________ a billionth of one second. The zeptosecond measures things in terms of the (9) ___________________. One millisecond is a thousandth of one second. This is the (10) ___________________ a neuron in our brain to fire. One nanosecond is one billionth of one second. The shortest (11) ___________________ it may be possible to measure is one Planck. This is (12) ___________________ followed by 44 zeros and a 1.

Put a slash (/) where the spaces are

Today,manythingsaregettingshorter.Scientistshavejustmeasureds
omethingveryshort.Theyrecordedtheshortestunitoftimeevermeasu
red-azeptosecond.Thisisatiny,tinyfractionofonesecond-atrilliontho
fabillionthofasecond.Itisadecimalpointfollowedby20zerosandthena
1.ThescientistsstudyatomicphysicsattheGoetheUniversity.Theyuse
dhigh-techequipmenttomeasurehowlongittakesaphotontocrossah
ydrogenmolecule.Thescientistssaidittook247zeptosecondsforthisto
happen.Thisistoofastforhumanstosenseorsee.In1999,anEgyptianw
ontheNobelPrizeinChemistryformeasuringthespeedatwhichmolecul
eschangetheirshape.Hefoundthatonefemtosecondequals0.000000
000000001seconds,oramillionthofabillionthofonesecond.Thezeptos
econdmeasuresthingsintermsofthespeedoflight.Onemillisecondisat
housandthofonesecond.Thisisthetimeittakesaneuroninourbraintofir
e.Onenanosecondisonebillionthofonesecond.Theshortestunitoftime
itmaybepossibletomeasureisonePlanck.Thisisadecimalpointfollowe
dby44zerosanda1.

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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