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Have You Ever Seen An Atom?

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TopRamen

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This is some incredible tech! :surprised:
Enjoy!

[video=youtube;yqLlgIaz1L0]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yqLlgIaz1L0[/video]
 

Cabernut

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My first response to the question was I'm seeing them right now. But an image of an idividual atom, those are always cool.

That's some mighy fine engineering!
 

rharshberger

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Closest I have ever seen is the trails given off by electrons from ionizing radiation in a cloud chamber. But no otherwise.
 

TopRamen

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Closest I have ever seen is the trails given off by electrons from ionizing radiation in a cloud chamber. But no otherwise.
That was my impression of them too til' I saw this video, which mentions the way they can form anomalous variations depending on which aspect they are viewed from.
That that can affect the strength and characteristics of a material is quite the revelation. I like tinkering with materials that are strong, but have no control over their atomic properties, as atoms are always in motion.
Perhaps there are ways to align them or control them with things like magnetism, centrifugal force or something like that, so when a material sets up, the atomic structure is correct?
Just thinking out loud, as the only things I know about Atomic Physics is what I read in the book of the same name, by Enrico Fermi, and that book was from like 1950-something or whatever.
I'm sure it's all been done before and whatnot, but I am suddenly curious again about such things.
 
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Woody's Workshop

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3D imagining would absolutely necessary to check materials on space flights I would think.
Especially the new friction weld used on the new space capsule being developed for manned flight to Mars.
This is a true break through in science and the consistency of materials need for space travel.
Anyone headed to college might think about this field, I'm sure Tech's & Engineers in this field will rapidly be in demand.
 

ThirstyBarbarian

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Interesting video. I'm amazed they can image the structure down to that size and see the arrangement of the individual atoms.

I remember learning about about the flaws and dislocations in the crystalline microstructure of materials long ago, and I was surprised to learn that sometimes the flaws are what gives the material the properties that you want. When you forge metal --- pound the heated metal with hammers --- you are breaking up the microstructure and causing microscopic dislocations. Those dislocations harden and strengthen the metal so that it is much more useful than a metal with a perfect crystalline structure. But for other kinds of materials, like the silicon used for computer chips, you want it to be perfect, with no flaws.
 

Flyfalcons

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When I was in high school, I remember seeing a picture from IBM, who arranged individual atoms into the shape of their logo. Looks like they've had more fun with atom arrangement since then.

[video=youtube;oSCX78-8-q0]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oSCX78-8-q0[/video]
 

tab28682

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I saw an Atom driving down the road just the other day...an Ariel Atom....:)
Small and moving quickly, too.
 

cbrarick

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9 years as a navy nuke, so I guess I smashed a few (million)
 

emckee

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I've imaged graphene planes in nanotubes in grad school, but never an individual atom... Either our microscopes weren't that tightly set up (Read: old and less precise), or I wasn't good/patient enough to do it. Now, they just won't let me play in the lab any more. :(

Electron microscopes are incredibly powerful and amazing tools. SEM's are where we get all those really nifty pictures of mites and bug feet (and etc...), but TEM's are really the ones for examining microstructures on the atomic level. That's where you get pictures of atomic planes, dislocations, inclusions, spot defects, etc, etc, etc. and then you've got STEM's (not scanning tunneling, but scanning transmission electron microscopes... same acronym for two different tools) which are REALLY cool.

The real challenge, however, isn't so much of using the microscope to obtain the image (though that requires a significant amount of skill), but rather the actual preparation of the sample such that you can image the area or feature of interest... for most of us (IMHO), getting that perfect micrograph is as much a game of luck and numbers as it is skill with the microscope!

in my opinion, the most impressive images are the ones where the researchers have captured some sort of reaction at the molecular/atomic level in-situ... that's just awesome to see!
 
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