1. Welcome to the 12ozProphet Forum...
    You are currently logged out and viewing our forum as a guest which only allows limited access to our discussions, photos and other forum features. If you are a 12ozProphet Member please login to get the full experience.

    If you are not a 12ozProphet Member, please take a moment to register to gain full access to our website and all of its features. As a 12ozProphet Member you will be able to post comments, start discussions, communicate privately with other members and access members-only content. Registration is fast, simple and free, so join today and be a part of the largest and longest running Graffiti, Art, Style & Culture forum online.

    Please note, if you are a 12ozProphet Member and are locked out of your account, you can recover your account using the 'lost password' link in the login form. If you no longer have access to the email you registered with, please email us at info@12ozprophet.com and we'll help you recover your account. Welcome to the 12ozProphet Forum (and don't forget to follow @12ozprophet in Instagram)!

Scientists Get Atoms Ready for a Close-Up

Discussion in 'Channel Zero' started by mental invalid, May 17, 2002.

  1. mental invalid

    mental invalid Dirty Dozen Crew

    Joined:
    May 11, 2001
    Messages:
    13,050

    Scientists Get Atoms Ready for a Close-Up

    Discussion started by mental invalid - May 17, 2002

    Scientists Get Atoms Ready for a Close-Up
    By KENNETH CHANG


    Atoms are small, but not invisible.

    Scientists at Lucent Technologies' Bell Labs have developed a microscopy technique that can zoom in on individual atoms within a chunk of silicon.

    This is a big deal, in a minuscule way. Scientists previously were able to take pictures of individual atoms only when they were sticking out on the surface. Dr. David Muller, the Bell Labs physicist who led the research team, gave this analogy for the new work: If a typical eight-inch-long silicon wafer — the raw material that gets carved in computer chips — were scaled up to the size of the United States, then a single transistor would be size of a car, and an atom would be the size of a pinhead.

    "We are able to locate the equivalent of a few pins, hidden in a few cars, somewhere in the United States," Dr. Muller said. The researchers reported their findings in the April 25 issue of Nature.

    The ability to spot individual atoms becomes important as electrical engineers continue to jam more transistors into computer chips.

    To tailor silicon's electronic properties, small amounts of other elements like antimony, which contribute electrons to conduct current, are diffused in. Because of the shrinking of transistors, it will become necessary in the coming years to check that the added atoms, or dopants, are going where the engineers think they are going. Otherwise, the transistor will not work because it will lack electrons.

    "Now you can see where they are so it's not an issue," said Dr. John Silcox, a professor of applied and engineering physics at Cornell.

    Put in too many antimony atoms, and the transistors also stop working. Images taken using the new technique help explain why.

    The Lucent microscope shoots a narrow beam of high-energy electrons through a very thin sheet of silicon — about one one-thousandth as wide as a human hair — and looks at how the electrons are deflected. Antimony atoms are heavier than silicon and scatter the electrons at sharper angles, which gives away their positions.

    Physicists believed they had a general idea why too many antimony atoms messed up the transistor, that antimony started clumping together and no longer donated its electrons. Scientists need to solve this problem because smaller transistors also require higher concentrations of electrons to work properly. But theorists argued about whether these clumps consisted of two or four antimony atoms.

    In this case, a picture is worth a thousand equations. The answer is two.
     
    mental invalid - Rank: Dirty Dozen Crew - Messages:
    13,050
    - Joined:
    May 11, 2001
  2. Are2

    Are2 Guest

    Are2 - Replied May 17, 2002

    i figured this would come eventually

    i am interested to see science begin to both refute and explain philosophical ideas in the coming decades..

    getting closer to the root of ALL things...scary
     
  3. imported_El Mamerro - Replied May 17, 2002

    I've seen pictures of atoms before... not individual atoms though, just clusters.

    The pictures are really dissapointing. They're not acual "photographs"... since the process is not photon-based, what you actually see is a computer rendered image, a visual graph representing the numbers that result from the differing angles of deflection from the electrons. The result is not unlike inputting the dimensions of a building into a computer and having it render an image of it. So don't expect PHOTO photos, with depth and focus and stuff. Beer,

    El Mamerro
     
  4. EatMorGlue

    EatMorGlue 12oz Senior Member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2000
    Messages:
    1,919

    EatMorGlue - Replied May 17, 2002

    yeah, kinda the same deal with hubble pictures, just a program somewhere interpreting data. i just learned about that last semester... really burst my bubble.

    and those people at bell are definitely on the cutting edge of everything it seems.. wasn't it them a few months ago who made great breakthroughs in atomic/molecular computer processing? i'm pretty sure it was.
     
    EatMorGlue - Rank: 12oz Senior Member - Messages:
    1,919
    - Joined:
    Dec 22, 2000
  5. ASER1NE

    ASER1NE 12oz Veteran Member

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2001
    Messages:
    7,577

    ASER1NE - Replied May 17, 2002

    im waiting until some scientific experiment with this or that creates a huge catastrophy of some sort . its bound to happen
     
    ASER1NE - Rank: 12oz Veteran Member - Messages:
    7,577
    - Joined:
    Oct 15, 2001
  6. test pattern

    test pattern 12oz Elite Member

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2002
    Messages:
    3,975

    test pattern - Replied May 17, 2002

    I didn't really read the post. I just skimmed through it, so if there's an answer to my question then please make me feel like a dumbass.



    Aren't atoms smaller than a single wavelength of light?

    Yes, they are.


    So how can we see them?
     
    test pattern - Rank: 12oz Elite Member - Messages:
    3,975
    - Joined:
    Jan 21, 2002
  7. Xeroshoes

    Xeroshoes 12oz Senior Member

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2001
    Messages:
    1,413

    Xeroshoes - Replied May 18, 2002

    I don't think atoms are smaller than quanta of light, because we can find their exact location and velocity at one time...(I think?)
    You're thinking of subatomic particles (or maybe just electrons and smaller), which we can't really "see" because observing them requires interacting with them and changing their locations/velocities, which is why scientists represent them as probability clouds.
    It's also interesting to me that you referred to light as a wavelength. Correct me if I'm wrong here, but Light has been observed to have both wave and particle like properties, which many believe is caused by interactions between different universes in a multiverse of which we are part.

    Quandom Phone makes me roam?
     
    Xeroshoes - Rank: 12oz Senior Member - Messages:
    1,413
    - Joined:
    Apr 16, 2001