We'll watch nanotech experiments as they happen

Chemist Derek Lowe describes some amazing-sounding work at Caltech: “They’re taking electron microscope snapshots, one trillionth of a second at a time. And what is this technique good for? Well, electron microscopy has long been used for imaging all sorts of materials and biological samples. Fast freezing of the samples has revealed an extraordinary amount of information in the past, and [Ahmed] Zewail’s new method basically allows this to happen in real time, at room temperature, under normal conditions. The energies required to do it aren’t huge, and it’s quite likely that we’ll be able to get useful data without destroying delicate targets. We could end up with extreme slow-motion movies of molecular processes, imaged at electron-diffraction resolutions. We’re actually going to be able to watch nanotechnology experiments as they happen.” He speculates that this could be worth a Nobel Prize. (Credit: Instapundit)

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