This photo shows a scanning tunneling microscope (STM) that also functions as an , which essentially is a higher-resolution STM. Andreas Heinrich, research staff member at IBM Almaden, is using it to study the magnetic fields of individual atoms.
Gerd Binnig and Heinrich Rohrer at IBM Zurich invented the STM in 1981 and received the Nobel in physics for the invention in 1986, a fairly rapid recognition for the Nobel committee. STMs exploit changes in the current passing between closely situated molecules. In an STM, tunneling currents are created between the microscope's probe and the atoms or materials being observed. The changes in the current then allow a computer to paint a model of the . Changing the current emanating from the probe further allows someone to move atoms.
Leo Esaki won a Nobel for his work on quantum tunneling. He also worked at IBM. Is there a pattern here?
Caption text by Michael Kanellos, staff writer, CNET News.com.
February 4, 2008 4:00 AM PST
Photo by: Corinne Schulze/CNET News.com
Conversation powered by Livefyre