Atoms in Action

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This movie produced with Berkeley Lab's TEAM 0.5 microscope shows the growth of a hole and the atomic edge reconstruction in a graphene sheet. An electron beam focused to a spot on the sheet blows out the exposed carbon atoms to make the hole. The carbon atoms then reposition themselves to find a stable configuration. News story: Subscribe so you don't miss a video - Instagram: Twitter: Facebook: More Berkeley Lab news:


Lord Random : I recently read,in the book 1227 facts that will blow your mind,that there has never been taken a clear direct picture of a single atom. Is that true ?

kush : these small circles represents cluster of atoms or individual atoms?

Mark Hibbins : @Imafungi123 it's primarily because of electron forces, the atoms reposition themselves because the most stable conformation has the least energy and that is the nature of matter

Brian Patterson : at what pressure is this done at... can it be observed at different pressures extremly high and low to observe any effect..

Hyper Nova : What is the void? Is it just a vacuum?

0YTMan : Where are the atoms?

Imafungi123 : "The carbon atoms then reposition themselves to find a stable configuration" What causes them to reposition.. can this be viewed similarly to how erosion on a hill occurs? Or does it have more to do with electron forces?

DrIasimov : A visual demonstration of the kinetic theory of matter.

TheOneAndOnlySame : @insanewarlock616 These are not actual "views" of atoms, since no photons are used to scan the atomic surface. :) These are made using electrons, not photons, the image is then reconstructed ..that's why there are "no colours" .

b1odome : @insanewarlock616 This is not an optical microscope, it's a lot more complicated microscope, involving electron particles. With an usual optical microscope, you can see the colors, because the light reflects them. When you look trough electron microscopes, you can't see the colors, because there is no light. There are just electron generated images. Electrons are either stopped by the particles being observed, or they are let trough. Depending on this, the computer generates an image.

Kalywonkas : @insanewarlock616 A lot of them are because of the use of an STM microscope, which uses a tiny needle, usually a carbon nanotube to probe the "bumps" on the surface of an object, so of course it's given in false colour black and white as a height gradient. In addition to this, at this level objects don't interact with and emit light in the same way...

Alex Duval : Beacause it isnt microscopic its an interpretation of a surface onto which electrons are bombarded, the interpretation is the impression made by the returning electrons.

GoPro Flying : @insanewarlock616 Because these particular images are not really "pictures", they are manipulated images based on data from forces acting on very sensitive probes. Atoms are smaller than the wavelength of visible light, so colour doesn't exist on these scales.

Teghead : @insanewarlock616 The "TEAM" microscope uses electron beams with wavelengths of roughly 3 pm, visible light is 390 - 750nm 10pm = 1nm = 10^-9 m So electron beam wavelengths are ~ 1000 x smaller than beams of light. Thanks to this you can see more detail, but electrons do not carry any information about the absorptive/reflective properties of materials in the optical light spectrum (colour). This TEAM microscope is very impressive, in greatly improving the limitations from lenses etc!

Teghead : @insanewarlock616 In this case, the image is constructed by bouncing electrons off the object, not visible light. With optical microscopes, where the output is visible light, images are in colour. In some cases only blue light is used in optical microscopy, as its shorter wavelength allows greater resolution (visible detail).

Jules Pierre : @insanewarlock616 It has to do with the wave length of the visible light spectrum. the wave length of violet light is about 40 micrometers (4 x 10 -6) in length. the size of the largest atom (caesium) is 265 picometers (2.7 x 10 -9 meters) in length. So yeah, that's about it. Cheers.

MrAtraHasis : You've made my day with that one

Timmy10k : Wow, thank you.

nebnamlessac : that is the most amazing thing i have seen i a long time. amazing job, science like this makes the world a better place!

michalchik : Well, we probably never will see atoms using light. You can't break the laws of physics but you can often find ways around them.

GadBoDag : Mind = Blown

Brian : Ten years ago I was told we would never be able to see atoms. I wonder what they're telling kids nowadays.

didsaid : Wow. That made my day. Good job.

Felipe Foncea : AWESOME !!!!!