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New Microscope Reveals the Shape of Atoms

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posted on Dec, 1 2009 @ 09:25 PM
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Chemistry textbooks typically include illustrations of atoms, but with caveats. The drawings depict atomic nuclei surrounded by electron orbitals—fuzzy spheres, barbells, tripods, and so on—but those figures represent the probability of finding an electron at a certain place around the nucleus rather than an actual “shape.” Researchers have now managed to image the electron orbitals and show for the first time that, in a sense, atoms really look like those textbook images.

www.scientificamerican.com...


An interesting technological advance. This takes field-emission microscopy a step further and, using a clever technique, shows the shapes of electron clouds around individual atoms.




posted on Dec, 1 2009 @ 09:54 PM
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Its amazing to see results that match the theory



posted on Dec, 1 2009 @ 09:58 PM
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So how can we benefit from this new knowledge? I mean it is nice knowing what atoms look like and all, but what are the ramifications of it?



posted on Dec, 1 2009 @ 10:31 PM
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reply to post by Nathwa
 


Well it proves that the maths we have been using to simulate atoms and the theories we have come up with about the way they work are correct. It means we are on the right track to understanding how the universe works.





We are indeed clever little monkeys


[edit on 1-12-2009 by VitalOverdose]



posted on Dec, 1 2009 @ 10:57 PM
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Good find, too bad it is exactly like what is described. You are right the textbooks do depict the exact location of an electron and the nuclei. However if you could take a HD atomic capable camera with the ability to catch the atom without the movement distortion it would look exactly like what we imagine. It is great you posted this here and am glad I read the article Thank You and flag for related interests!

-ATC AN



posted on Dec, 1 2009 @ 11:14 PM
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Its funny but thats kinda what i thought they would look like



posted on Dec, 2 2009 @ 01:03 AM
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Nice article, S&F for the OP!


Originally posted by VitalOverdose
reply to post by Nathwa
 


Well it proves that the maths we have been using to simulate atoms and the theories we have come up with about the way they work are correct. It means we are on the right track to understanding how the universe works.


Yes the sphere alone wasn't that convincing but once the higher excitation states revealed the barbell shapes we predicted, one could surmise these are truly images of the electron orbits! Amazing!



posted on Dec, 2 2009 @ 09:53 AM
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Ok ok ok, I don't know if anyone has pointed this out yet but imaging an atom used to be impossible. This is beyond amazing.

[edit on 2-12-2009 by DaMod]



posted on Dec, 4 2009 @ 11:29 AM
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reply to post by DaMod
 


Search on scanning tunneling microscopes or atomic force microscopes. These are common as stand alone devices and as features on surface science instruments.
You will be amazed.



posted on Dec, 4 2009 @ 11:40 AM
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This may not make it to today's headlines, but I have to say that I am impressed. I was particularly impressed that they have observed the orbit of the electrons changing energy levels with higher voltage.


The pictures look, well, textbook, although only the outermost orbitals appear, which shroud the inner orbitals and the nuclei. By changing the intensity of the current, the team could switch the energy of the last atom’s outermost electron from a lower level to a higher level. Correspondingly, the shape of the orbital changed from spherical to barbell, as theory predicts.


Anyone who has had the (dis)pleasure of struggling through Chemistry 101 should appreciate that.



posted on Dec, 4 2009 @ 11:57 AM
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Originally posted by VitalOverdose
reply to post by Nathwa
 


Well it proves that the maths we have been using to simulate atoms and the theories we have come up with about the way they work are correct. It means we are on the right track to understanding how the universe works.





We are indeed clever little monkeys


[edit on 1-12-2009 by VitalOverdose]


Thats amazing!!!
what are those pictures of, i mena i know what they are of but what are they represnting? Im assuming stages of something?



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