Friday, May 07, 2010

Seeing the Spin

Cool but probably meaningless. Scientists now have images of electron spin, that property that everyone learns in their freshman chemistry to build up the periodic table. Spin up, spin down, singlets, triplets... That the electrons aren't actually spinning is not important. Quarks have the properties of flavor and color and they don't exist as actual "flavors" or "colors" either.

As I led in with, I'm not sure that pictures are useful for much. I feel the same way about scanning tunneling microscopy which is able to show us individual atoms, but for some people, seeing is believing. Regardless, the technology is certainly impressive.

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