“The great tragedy of science - the slaying of a beautiful hypothesis by an ugly fact.” Thomas Huxley, Scientist (1825-95).
Tuesday, 27 September 2011
Atoms move just a little bit
An international team based at the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility in Grenoble studying multiferroic materials using an X-ray interference scattering technique, have set a world record for accuracy in absolute measurements of atomic displacements. The experimental technique exploits the interference between charge and magnetic scattering of a polarised X-ray beam. Studying a single crystal of TbMnO3 they measured the displacement of specific atoms with an accuracy approaching one femtometre (10E-15m).