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December 23rd, 2007
Imagine being able to see every bit of a chemical reaction as it happens. To observe reactants form fleeting intermediates that seamlessly transform into products. Or to watch a movie of a protein as it folds in a nanosecond. Not a representation, not a model or simulation, but actual pictures showing what molecules, cells, and proteins look like and how they move.
Researchers at California Institute of Technology are capturing such images with the world's only ultrafast electron microscope. For example, they have spied channels open and close in semiconductor crystals, a phenomenon never seen before.
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