Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Electron microscopy with a difference!

Once, a friend of mine told me why I should not call myself a physical metallurgist: I have never done electron microscopy. Another recently told me why I am not even a metallurgist; I have never been taught Iron-Carbon phase diagram (with friends like this...sigh). Undoubtedly, electron microscopes and Fe-C phase diagram are to metallurgists what the magic wand and spells are to Harry Potter.

The latest Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, carries this article and this profile, both of which are worth taking a look at. The article is about electron microscopy with specific emphasis on the phase information (which is not usual in our circles); but, all those interference patterns, vortices and magnetic domains are too lovely to be missed. The profile is about Dr. Akira Tonomura who had developed this type of electron microscopy; it is very well written and might make a good bed-time reading.

2 Comments:

Blogger Sugee said...

Guru,
of late there has been serious discussion that quantum theory is really dubious. Something like Einstein wanted an "unified theory" approach. I think i read about thought of various physists in nature.
Whats ur stand?

12:45 AM  
Blogger Mogadalai said...

Hi Sugeetha,

Thank you for all your comments (here, and in other posts). I do not think quantum theory is dubious, if that is the word; neither did Einstein: see this for example. What Einstein did feel, as I understand, is the following: Newtonian physics is correct under certain assumptions - but we know that it breaks down at very small scales, or at large velocities. Similarly, it might be possible to find a theory, which, under certain limiting conditions will reduce to quantum mechanics. However, he was not successful in his quest. Nor anybody else till now. Having said that, quantum mechanics is the theory for the purposes for which it was formulated, viz, for the study of atomistic behaviour.

6:16 PM  

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