Thought for the month

“Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less.” Maire Curie, Scientist (1867-1934).

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).

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