Local Probes: Pushing the Limits of Detection and Interaction

Authored by: Adam Z. Stieg , James K. Gimzewski

1 Handbook of Nanophysics

Print publication date:  September  2010
Online publication date:  September  2010

Print ISBN: 9781420075403
eBook ISBN: 9781420075410
Adobe ISBN:


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At the core of all science is mankind’s innate curiosity toward understanding the observable universe. While a multitude of phenomena can be perceived through the basic physiological senses, such macroscopic processes are commonly subject to governance by physical laws operating at the microscopic scale and beyond. Experimental approaches toward understanding the behavior of matter at increasingly smaller dimensions require the capacity to carry out increasingly sensitive measurement associated with the concomitant decrease in signal, to push the limits of detection. Tremendous progress has been made in the detection of almost every physical observable related to matter and energy (Welland and Gimzewski, 1995). Detection alone is a limiting case. Through the addition of time and spatial resolution as viable experimental variables, the power to truly probe matter at ever-decreasing scales becomes reality.

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