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Author Topic: What's The Smallest Thing We Can See ?  (Read 10170 times)

Offline neilep

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What's The Smallest Thing We Can See ?
« on: 06/01/2008 18:47:40 »
Dear All,

Wocha !....You ok ?...good !..I'm glad we had this little chat.

Check this out !



The World's Smallest Thinker




Using lasers, Korean researchers have crafted a microscopic version of Rodin's famed sculpture "The Thinker" just about twice the size of a red blood cell at 20 millionths of a meter high .

Muscles and even toes are visible in the tiny model.

The new technique could help develop novel biosensors and other complicated microscopic devices, the scientists said.

For more than a decade, researchers worldwide have experimented with lasers to fabricate elaborate 3-D creations. They start with a resin that hardens when exposed to certain frequencies of light. Using overlapping beams of lasers, researchers can then solidify a sculpture with details measuring less than a wavelength of visible light in size.

While the skins of these sculptures are hard, their innards remain soft. This leaves them vulnerable to surface tension, the same force that causes water to bead up into droplets. The surface tension of the fluid in which the sculptures are immersed can cause them to deform.

These sculptures can by made stronger by increasing the power of the laser beams or leaving the beams on longer. This makes each spot on the surface of these sculptures extend deeper, yielding a thicker skin. Unfortunately, each spot now also takes up more surface area, sacrificing detail.

To solve this problem mechanical engineer Dong-Yol Yang at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology in Daejeon, South Korea, and his colleagues use multiple laser beams focused at and below each spot on the surface of thea sculpture [graphic]. The result is a thicker skin without each spot taking up more surface area.

With this new approach, the scientists scanned a replica of Rodin's popular masterpiece "The Thinker," originally sculpted in 1880, and created a version 93,000 times smaller than the roughly 6-foot-high original.

CREDIT: LIVESCIENCE.COM


so......this leads me to ask what is the smallest thing we can see with technology ?
« Last Edit: 06/01/2008 18:57:30 by neilep »


 

Offline Karen W.

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What's The Smallest Thing We Can See ?
« Reply #1 on: 06/01/2008 20:37:09 »
That is very cool!!
Is it microplasma bacteria??? An open celled Bacteria..Or that just the tiniest bacteria?? I can't remember.. something I read while researching my bug..
 

Offline Karen W.

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What's The Smallest Thing We Can See ?
« Reply #2 on: 06/01/2008 20:52:03 »
It could be a cell or part of one though..just a couple guesses!
 

Offline Simulated

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What's The Smallest Thing We Can See ?
« Reply #3 on: 06/01/2008 20:52:36 »
That's a sweet picture and question Neil. Sorry that I don't know thouhg hha
 

paul.fr

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What's The Smallest Thing We Can See ?
« Reply #4 on: 06/01/2008 22:02:24 »
I was in the bath the other day, i looked down and there it was...an atom, possibly.
 

Offline techmind

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What's The Smallest Thing We Can See ?
« Reply #5 on: 07/01/2008 11:18:30 »
With a Scanning Tunneling Microscope we can resolve (and even manipulate) individual atoms.

IBM were the leaders in this field and made headlines (in about 1990) when they made their famous logo in atoms on a metal surface.
http://www-03.ibm.com/ibm/history/exhibits/vintage/vintage_4506VV1003.html

My dad was designing and researching STM at Imperial College at that time, and I wrote the first software to control his STM and render the images!
 

Offline Karen W.

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What's The Smallest Thing We Can See ?
« Reply #6 on: 07/01/2008 14:04:41 »

How did they move them into place like that?

    You know I have heard about that and did not even think to remember that. LOL Thanks Paul!

  Techmind, thanks, and what a cool picture..

  So besides seeing those atoms with this scanning microscope, they were able to manipulate them in a visible word pattern.. I am assuming still not to the naked eye but viewed through this method they spoke of, eh?
« Last Edit: 07/01/2008 14:25:04 by Karen W. »
 

Offline techmind

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What's The Smallest Thing We Can See ?
« Reply #7 on: 08/01/2008 22:44:36 »
They had to choose atoms which were different from the underlying surface, so they'd sit on it and not be "swallowed up" into it. I forget what the surface and lettering-atoms were now.
You can move them around by applying a slightly higher voltage between the probe-tip and the surface. Since the spacing between the tip and surface is servo-controlled to around an atomic diameter, a potential of a couple of volts translates into a huge electric field strength (V/m), and thus large forces at the surface.
 

Offline Bored chemist

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What's The Smallest Thing We Can See ?
« Reply #8 on: 09/01/2008 19:48:19 »
IIRC it was argon atoms on very cold nickel.
 

Offline Nobody's Confidant

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What's The Smallest Thing We Can See ?
« Reply #9 on: 10/01/2008 17:46:53 »
I would say clumps of atoms with that one special telescope.
 

Offline that mad man

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What's The Smallest Thing We Can See ?
« Reply #10 on: 10/01/2008 17:55:15 »
Does the STM show us a picture of what can be seen?

With a normal electron microscope we see a highly magnified reflection of the real image.

With STM we are seeing a composite computer generated image which seems to be more like an artists impression image rather than the real thing.

Bee
 

Offline techmind

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What's The Smallest Thing We Can See ?
« Reply #11 on: 10/01/2008 18:12:50 »
With an STM, the instrument itself measures the surface profile (with some modification for charge-effects). This profile is then rendered in software as a 3D representation of the surface (with artificial lighting and colour height-contouring or whatever).
 

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What's The Smallest Thing We Can See ?
« Reply #11 on: 10/01/2008 18:12:50 »

 

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