Imaging Atoms

Graphene Micrograph

Graphene Micrograph (Photo credit: Argonne National Laboratory)

As well as looking out into space and simultaneously back in time with the Hubble space telescope to understand where we came from scientists are also looking further inwards to understand how we are here.

In the last few months the scientists at the Large Hadron Collider have confirmed the existence of a Higgs boson though this is simply a beginning rather than an end as there is still much to understand about this fascinating sub-atomic particle that is theorised to give matter mass and whether it is the Higgs Boson they expected based on computer models.

Now a team at IBM have used a modified form of Atomic Force Microscopy to image a single molecule showing the atomic bonds.  This technique would enable, for example, inspection of sheets of single-atom thick Graphene for imperfections.  As with so many discoveries and new technologies this will no doubt have many more future applications as well as furthering our understanding of our world.

[Higgs Boson & Molecule Imaging at Gizmodo UK]