Thought for the month

“Wise men speak because they have something to say; fools because they have to say something.” Often attributed to Plato but no actually verifiable Greek source.

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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