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IBM Science

Detailed Images Show Intra-Molecular Bonds 53

Techmeology writes "A team from IBM in Zurich has published images of molecules that are detailed enough to show the lengths of atomic bonds. 'The IBM team's innovation to create the first single molecule picture, of a molecule called pentacene, was to use the tip to pick up a single, small molecule made up of a carbon and an oxygen atom. This carbon monoxide molecule effectively acts as a record needle, probing with unprecedented accuracy the very surfaces of atoms. It is difficult to overstate what precision measurements these are. The experiments must be isolated from any kind of vibration coming from within the laboratory or even its surroundings. They are carried out at a scale so small that room temperature induces wigglings of the AFM's constituent molecules that would blur the images, so the apparatus is kept at a cool -268C.' This allows an analysis of imperfections in the molecular structure (abstract). The team plans to use the method to examine molecules of graphene."
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Detailed Images Show Intra-Molecular Bonds

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  • Re:wrong paper (Score:5, Insightful)

    by FrangoAssado ( 561740 ) on Saturday September 15, 2012 @04:08PM (#41347779)

    Pauling is really great, I agree that he should be more well-known (I, myself, am partial to Dirac, who predicted the existence of anti-matter out of pure math). But you have to realize that Newton and (maybe to a lesser degree) Einstein contributions were of another class.

    Newton took Galileo's ideas -- that things tend to keep moving if they're left alone -- and built a whole mathematical theory on top of that, inventing calculus in the process. In a sense, it was the beginning of what we today call Physics.

    Einstein was the first to notice (and convinced everyone) that the Lorentz transformation is not just a mathematical trick, it's the very way the space and time works. This itself was not that impressive, he was just giving a "new spin" on what everyone had already observed. But then he went on to show that the "right way" to understand gravity is by noting that it's just a side-effect of mass bending the space and time -- this has lots of consequences that were unknown at the time, like gravity bending light, gravity making time pass at different rates, and a lot other stuff, all of which turned out to be right.

    Quantum Mechanics and its implications (like the electron shell), on the other hand, were discovered bit by bit by a lot of different people. That's why no one is hugely famous for it (even though there are certainly big names like Planck, Einstein, Bohr, Heisenberg, Born, Schrodinger, Dirac, Pauli, etc.).

He's dead, Jim.