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The Atom Revealed

The Atom Revealed

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Published by Tang Enping Grace

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Published by: Tang Enping Grace on May 20, 2012
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‘The Atom Revealed’ By Tang Enping Grace, A0084756 Aim of report:  To analyse the history, past developments and

future prospects of nanospace, a term coined for use in the video to describe a world where objects are magnified up to one billionth of their normal size. Objectives: 1. Define the timeline of microscopy research until the first view of the atom and the processes involved by exploring human engineering and our impact on the microscopic world 2. Draw parallels between the atomic structures of things and the progress made in the development of molecular machines, past, present and future
Microscope allows us to see hidden worlds within -worlds within worlds within worlds. By seeing single atoms, we come to be aware of our basic building blocks and from there on, allow us to probe into nature secrets. The study of nanospace makes us aware that everything around us is built upon nanospace and the study of nanospace helps us understand tiny living things better. The quest of nanospace began in early 15th century. The Royal Society of London then, influenced by Francis Bacon’s “New Science” book, was a meet up for groups of physicians and natural philosophers. <<Micrographia>> a historic book containing details of the author, Robert Hooke's observations through an optical microscope was published in September 1665. The first major publication of the Royal Society ignited wide public curiosity in the new science of microscopy. Optical microscope
The first recorded microscope was supposedly built by Zacharias and Hans Janssen in the 1590's.i The optical microscope allowed us to understand evolution before Darwin’s theory and by virtue of Robert Hooke, we developed an understanding that living things are made from cells.ii

However, images of the optical microscope were still limited in their ability to see microscopic materials in a sharp visible manner. The quest for knowledge inspired the birth of the electron microscope. Electron Microscope
In 1931, Ernst Ruska co-invented the electron microscope for which he won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1986. iii An electron microscope depends on electrons to view an object. Electrons are speeded up in a vacuum until their wavelength is one hundred-thousandth that of white light. Electron microscopes make it possible to view objects as small as the diameter of an atom.

Dr Hashimoto and his team repeated the experiment a thousand of times before they view the single atom. we need a tool to retain atoms. The result is a plastic sieve with a huge number of tiny holes.1940. and his team from the Kyoto Institute of Technology. The plastic sieve is then coated over the copper grids. the first virus was photographed. 5. the University of Chicago physicist and his teamv and F. tiny water droplets form on the surface. The process (from the video)is as follows: 1.  When chilled glass is exposed to room temperature. easily deflects an electron beam. The process of detecting an individual atom visually is a slow arduous routine especially with its delicate work. To do so. In the race to capture images of an individual atom. Dissolve the thorium sample in water 2. the plastic sieve breaks off from the glass. Finding the surface of an atom is like finding a way through a fog since the nucleus is surrounded by a fuzzy cloud of electrons. vii The electron microscope measures this deflection to create the image of an atom. forming a thin plastic. Dr Hashimoto and his team used the element thorium in their experiment. When the plastic coated slide is placed in water. 6. when the plastic film coats over them. III. Crewe. Atoms are always in constant motion. 4. They managed to detect a single atom visually on 1971 February coming in third after the first Albert V. Thorium being an heavy metal element. restrict the holes of the plastic sieve. Support the solution in a vacuum. 3.  Even so. cavities are developed. Making of the tool:  Tiny copper wire grids 3mm across. We are expecting to see thorium atoms at points where the jagged pieces of carbon dust. Liquefied plastic is then poured on the water formed slide. Dr Hatsujiro Hashimoto. Firstly. To solve this. Why is detecting the atom such a tedious task? I. a professor then at the Okoyama University of Science. Peter Ottensmeyervi together with his team from University of Toronto. When an electron beam passes through an atom. It is up till now that the experiment to see a single thorium atom. can take place given that the tool is ready. Dr Hashimoto and his team solved the problem by creating a special plastic film. we can then view it under the microscope. Since the water droplet is one thousandth of a millimeter . Even the thinnest gold sheet in the world has width of 750 atoms. Seeing an atom is thus like detecting some thing on . A drop of thorium solution is left on the tool until it evaporates. the holes are still too big to retain atoms. Atoms have no solid surface. Tiny carbon dust is then scattered across the film. II. managed to obtain a single atom observation using the electron microscope.iv It provided a foundation for the study of viruses ever since their structure was seen. When it dries up. atoms are very miniscule. using the electron microscope. Finding an atom seems like finding a needle in the haystack. it is deflected by the forces of encounterance. provided the foundation of support in which the wires lie just far enough apart to let a human hair pass through  Holes in the grid however are still 50000 times larger than a thorium atom.

atoms vibrate and move in response. We also see the connection between physics and chemistry in closer detail. A clap or whenever humans shift our weights. viii A STM reveals atomic structures and their surface features by using a needle like metal probe. one billionth of a meter from the surface of specimen  Electricity flows across this gap from the needle to the atoms  To keep the current constant. What gives Diamonds its brilliance is due to the structure its atoms are in and the structure although determined by chemistry. is verified by physics Scanning tunneling microscope 1981 – Gerd Binnig and Heinrich Rohrer invented the scanning tunneling microscope that gives three-dimensional images of objects down to the atomic level. . Hitachi used the technique of blasting sulphur atoms away by allowing the metal probe to get close enough with the atom. We are in constant touch with nanospace. they are able to move the single atoms around. became the first to use the STM to arrange individual atoms on a surface. The invention of the STM now allows scientists to study atoms of silicon. the strongest microscope to date. Binnig and Rohrer won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1986. Atoms are in highly specific crystal lattices even though they are always moving. The tip of the needle lets its user distinguish single atoms. In addition. the artistic versatility of the STM was also discovered when scientist realize that with the STM. A STM (as mentioned in the video) works as such  Tip of needle is lowered until a nanometer. IBM was the record holder of being the first and the smallest until 1991 November when Hitachi renewed the record for being the smallest. Eigler in 1989. the gap must be kept constant too.the edge of existence. Thus the needle rises and falls across the irregular surface. The element. Take for example Gold and its atoms and Diamond with its carbon atoms. Donald M. we now more explicitly feel the connection between the atomic structure of living things and us as human. Their structure is pre-determined by chemistry. 60% smaller than IBM. Using 35 Xenon atoms. moving at an enormous speed having no physical shape The invention of the electron microscope plunges us into nanospace as we ask ourselves: how far can we go? Is it possible for us to discover and seek smaller stuff and will this cycle end? With the invention of the Scanning Tunneling Microscope. which forms the basis of our semiconductor chips.

nobelprize. Eadie Medal Retrieved February 26 . Nobelprize. Humanities and Sciences of Canada (2012) Thomas W. expanded and updated (2001) Robert Hooke.com.nytimes.html ii Tore Frängsmyr .org. Singapore. pp. Retrieved February.sg/books?id=YkrpGle7F7oC&pg=PA144&lpg=PA144&dq=thor ium+atom+electron+microscope&source=bl&ots=96JJWWea6&sig=Nd6JJMjz3TQQ0GVzGHQEhEj4zHA&hl=en&sa=X&ei=IHBKT4ulNcborAfqn4jEDw&sqi=2&re dir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=thorium%20atom%20electron%20microscope&f=false vii Nobelprize.com/2009/11/21/science/21crewe.fsu.edu/history/hooke. Desk Encyclopedia of General Virology.ca/awards_Thomas_W_Eadie_Medal_winner. 2012. and the Los Alamos National Laboratory.google. Nanospace is omnipresent and with the advancement of technology. 2012 Website: http://www. 3– 5.org/nobel_prizes/physics/laureates/1986/ viii . 2012. Is Dead at 82. Website: http://micro.Autobiography". from University of California Museum of Paleontology.php#TOC14 vi Peter W.org/nobel_prizes/physics/laureates/1986/ruska-autobio. Michael W. Molecular Expressions Microscopy Primer: Museum of Microscopy Retrieved February 26 . Physicist. Davidson (1998). from Optical Microscopy Division of the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory. The New York Times Retrieved February 26 . a joint venture of The Florida State University. 2012 Website: http://www. Physics 1981-1990.ucmp.org. Oxford: Academic Press. The prospect of Nano science and its relevance to our daily lives will be of higher interest to the public when we find more applications for the knowledge we have on hand for nanospace.In conclusion. "The Nobel Prize in Physics 1986". iv Markoff. the University of Florida.magnet. Hawkes (2009)Advances in Imaging and Electron Physics: The Scanning Transmission Electron Microscope Retrieved February 26 . Robert Hooke. Retrieved February 26.html v The RSC: the Academies of Arts.nobelprize.html iii Ackermann H-W (2009).berkeley. Evolution Wing. human’s curiosity for the miniscule objects and living things in live has driven us to delve deeper into nanospace. 2012. our knowledge of the nanospace will only increase with time. John (2009) Albert Crewe.html i Ben Waggoner (1995) . 2012 Website:http://books. Website: http://www. Ernst Ruska .. Gösta Ekspång (1993) Nobel Lectures. 26 2012 Website:http://www. World Scientific Publishing Co.rsc. Website: http://www.edu/primer/museum/index. Retrieved February 26 .

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