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Microsoft

Electron Strobe Makes Movies of Atoms 33

holy_calamity writes "Some grainy black and white movies are receiving rave reviews from scientists. They are taken by a new microscope which, thanks to a 'strobing' electron gun, can image movement at sub-nanometer scales. Until now, only still images that smeared out movement were possible at such scales. The press release notes, 'The researchers first blasted the sample with a pulse of heat. The heated carbon atoms began to vibrate in a random, nonsynchronized fashion. Over time, however, the oscillations of the individual atoms became synchronized as different modes of the material locked in phase, emerging to become a heartbeat-like "drumming."' Further details and a few animations are available at Caltech's site."

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"The fundamental principle of science, the definition almost, is this: the sole test of the validity of any idea is experiment." -- Richard P. Feynman

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