Friday, January 14, 2011

A Twisted Way To Take Pictures - Science News

A Twisted Way To Take Pictures - Science News: Electron microscopes snap images of minuscule objects by shooting a beam of electrons at a target and recording where the electrons scatter. A microscope using a vortex electron beam would work similarly, except the electron beam must first pass through a hologram that twists the beam into a helix, says McMorran. A beam that spirals offers even better resolution than a straight beam because its energy isn’t concentrated in the beam’s center, which is difficult to focus...
One intriguing application would be to use the beams to grab onto individual atoms, Herring says. Electrons in a twisted beam couple with electrons in the atoms of a material, and scientists controlling the electron microscope could use its lenses like a joystick to move the beam (and a captive atom) around.

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