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1879 – Hahn – bio

Otto Hahn was born in Germany in 1879 and is considered to be the ‘father’ of nuclear chemistry. Hahn worked in the area of radiochemistry, at the time a new field that involved the study of radioactivity. He discovered several radioactive isotopes. He was nominated many times for Nobel prizes in both the fields of […]

Making Metallic Hydrogen

Hydrogen is the simplest atom, composed of a single proton in the center and a single electron around the edge. We think of it in a natural form as a gas, but at low temperatures (-423 F) it will liquefy. Once it’s in liquid form, adding a lot of pressure (5 million atm) can force […]

Spray Printing Single Crystal Electronics

Atoms like to combine in lattice-like arrays that we call crystals. Atoms and molecules often combine with each other based on how their outer electron shell is filled. When there is a good match and conditions permit, a crystal “seed” can form and then add outer layers to it, growing a crystal. Often, many crystals […]

Our Knowledge of Matter and Energy

We like to think that we know what “elementary particles” are made of, but in fact, while we may know some things about their behavior or interaction with other particles, we know little about their fundamental nature. Here are some of the things we know: Sometimes they act like waves and sometimes they act like […]

Generic Re-programmable Electronic Circuits

It is possible to create flexible and controllable pathways of conduction by polarizing atoms. This means a single microchip or electronic circuit can be reprogrammed to accomplish different specialized functions. Perhaps someday soon, we’ll have a generic kind of electronics woven into everything we use. Electronic circuits with reconfigurable pathways closer to reality – [] […]

How Small Is An Atom?

How Small Is An Atom? Spoiler: Very Small. [] SEE ALSO: Scale in Space Explore the Scale of the Universe Imagine a Pea in a Swimming Pool Simplifying Quantum Mechanics Is Possible

1925 – electron “spin”

The electron acts more like a rotating cloud of electromagnetic charge than like a particle. The rotation or angular momentum of the field is called “electron spin”. The credit for discovering electron spin has been given by history to Samuel Goudsmit and George Uhlenbeck in 1925. Ralph Kronig proposed the idea earlier in the year, […]

Single Atom Transistor

Single Atom Transistor

While single atom transistors have been created previously, they were positioned with somewhat random locations, making it difficult to find one that was actually useful. A team from the University of New South Wales in Australia has been able to locate a single atom of phosphorus with near atomic precision. The silicon substrate the atom […]

1922 – Stern-Gerlach experiment

In 1922, the Stern-Gerlach (named after Otto Stern and Walther Gerlach) experiment sent a beam of silver atoms through a deflecting magnetic field and onto a collecting plate. Charged electrons orbiting the nucleus of an atom create a “magnetic moment” (a vector of twisting force) that makes the atom behave as though it were a […]

1928 – Dirac equation

Based on the previous Schrodinger equation and Klein-Gordon equation, in 1928 Paul Dirac produced a wave equation that helped to explain the characteristic of an electron known as “spin”. In part, it dealt with an expansion of Einstein’s famous equation of “e=mc^2” that allowed a consideration of two sets of roots, one positive and one […]