My pole <3
A Boy And His Atom: The World’s Smallest Movie
Scientists are known for loving their work. Biologists tend to their cultures and animals. Physicists polish their exquisite machines like sports car entusiasts treat vintage Ferraris. So do chemists love atoms? Apparently they do. At least enough to write a love story with, and about them.
IBM scientists have created the world’s smallest movie using individual atoms. It’s the story of a boy and his playful atom buddy, drawn in stop motion and with each quantum pixel positioned using a scanning tunneling microscope. Every frame is magnified a stunning 100 million times!
This amazing feat was accomplished by using a charged atomic needle to drag single carbon monoxide molecules (the individual atoms we see are one side of that two-atom molecule) around on a copper substrate. I’ve posted a little bit about these feats of atomic art before, with these “quantum corrals” and “ferrous wheels”.
See those ripples around each atom? They remind me of pebbles being tossed into a still pond. They are actually ripples in the electron field of the copper surface below! It’s a reminder that, contrary to many textbooks, electrons behave more like waves than particles following an orbit. And like any other wave, they can form intricate interference patterns. Check out this previous post for more on that.
The hope is that manipulating atomic structures like this may lead to even greater information storage capacity. Imaging all the world’s books and movies on your mobile phone at once!
Here’s a “making of” movie from IBM, featuring the sound of atoms being moved as well as the encouraging sight of several female team members.
This makes me as happy as atom boy there.
Coolest thing ever.
The “Inside 3D printing” expo, a two-day event held in New York showcased everything from the latest 3D printers and scanners to the ever-broadening spectrum of printing filaments. But hidden away in a conference room were a small array of 3D printed medical apparatuses that are already changing the face of surgery, without all the fanfare of a skull replacement.
Atop a simple table sit a handful of printed medical models, joints, surgical guides and a few porous, metal semi-spheres. These little marvels, strangely enough, are some of medical 3D printing’s greatest success stories to date.
The models, while not very flashy, allow surgeons to prepare for complex surgeries better than they have before. The guides offer precise surgical aid for individual patients, and those little porous half spheres are a cheaper, better hip joint for anyone who needs one.
They’re hip cups — the part of a hip replacement that forms the joint — and 3D printed versions of them have already been implemented in hundreds of hip surgeries all across Europe. Until companies like Lima and Adler began 3D printing them, hip cups had to be screwed in to stay put. Those screws, given enough time, are prone to failure. And while screws are still used in these 3D printed hip cups, it’s their secondary anchoring mechanic that really stops the show. (via The 3D printed future of medicine is here today | DVICE)
“The main thing is to know how to set about it, to be able to concentrate your attention on a single detail, to forget yourself sufficiently to bring about the desired hallucination and so substitute the vision of a reality for the reality itself.”
-Joris-Karl Huysmans, À Rebours