"There are decades where nothing happens; and there are weeks where decades happen"
Vladimir Ilyich Lenin. 1870 – 1924
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).