This is awesome! They've recently developed a new microscope that can view atoms in motion! I'm blown away just thinking about it. Here's the article from newscientist:
"...Now Ahmed Zewail, a chemist at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, has developed a way to produce faster, shorter electron pulses.
These can be used like a strobe light to reveal atoms in motion, letting electron microscopes capture more frequent snapshots, and producing high-resolution footage of atoms in motion.
Zewail is a past master at speeding things up. He was awarded the 1999 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his work on femtochemistry – studying chemical reactions just a few femtoseconds (billionths of a millionth of a second) long using pulses of laser light.
His latest work has now created another new field – ultrafast electron microscopy. Zewail's team use an oscillating laser to illuminate the cathode in their microscope with pulses of UV light about 100 femtoseconds long.
The cathode's surface has a high quantum efficiency, meaning it readily releases electrons when bombarded with photons. It converts the femtosecond light pulses into femtosecond electron pulses, of just a few tens of electrons.
Pioneering moviesThose short pulses act like a camera flash, creating a crisp image of the target specimen at a very precise moment in time. Zewail's research team can generate movies showing the picosecond (millionths of a millionth of a second) motion of atoms..."
Summary: They're breaking new ground, people. These scientists are effectively changing our most powerful microscopes from individual pictures to black & white movies. This is an epic upgrade to the way we view the minuscule.