It may only work on tiny amounts of water, but it should be the fastest transfer of energy to water on Earth. Scientists have figured out how to heat about one billionth of a liter of water 600 degrees Celsius in one trillionth of a second, according to a new paper. Their idea is to zap the water with short, intense bursts of terahertz radiation, which are electromagnetic waves that are between microwaves and infrared light in wavelength. For less than a millisecond, the water should remain at its original density before the molecules fly apart. In that time, scientists should be able to record any chemical reactions they might try to trigger with the intense heat, according to DESY, the German research group in which the water-heating technique’s developers work.