from the urls-we-dig-up dept
Chemists haven’t quite mastered manipulating atoms and molecules, but physicists are making some progress in making/discovering all kinds of new particles — and not just sub-atomic scale particles. We’ve mentioned “super heavy hydrogen” before, but there are a few other unnatural bits of matter brewing in labs, too. Check out a few of them below.
- Powerful X-ray pulses can blast away the guts of atoms, making hollow atoms. Giant Rydberg atoms, antimatter atoms (e.g. antihydrogen) and elements beyond Ununoctium (atomic #118) are extremely difficult to observe (or create in the first place), but these particles might prove useful someday. But even if they don’t, it’s interesting to see how far we can push the boundaries of atoms and groups of sub-atomic particles. [url]
- Magnetic superatoms are clusters of atoms with electrons in orbitals that surround the entire cluster instead of just the individual atoms. A stable magnetic superatom VNa8 can be synthesized — but not in macroscopic quantities yet. These kinds of superatoms could have spintronics applications, but it’s really too early to make any kind of useful device out of these things. [url]
- A variant of atomic force microscopy can produce images of atomic bonds in molecules with amazing detail, gaining picometer resolution. Imaging at this scale could help develop molecular electronics and keep Moore’s law from faltering more than it already has. [url]
After you’ve finished checking out those links, take a look at our Daily Deals for cool gadgets and other awesome stuff.