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Playing With Atoms - Dr Don Eigler
Wednesday, September 1, 2010 at 6:00 PM (NZST)
Tickets for this event are free but limited so must be downloaded in advance from this site.
We live in a time of extraordinary scientific, medical and technological progress. When we look at what makes this progress possible we find a common enabling theme: mankind's ability to build ever smaller structures. Dr Eigler will examine how far this era of miniaturization can take us and what will be the consequences. He will explore this question by examining the ultimate limit of miniaturization: building things atom-by-atom at the nanometre scale. With some luck (keep your fingers crossed) Dr Eigler will connect over the internet to the laboratory in California to demonstrate how we manipulate atoms and explore what has become one of the most exciting areas of science... The Small Frontier.
The speaker, Don Eigler, is a physicist and IBM Fellow at the IBM Almaden Research Center. On September 28 1989 he achieved a landmark in humankind's ability to build small structures by demonstrating the ability to manipulate individual atoms with atomic-scale precision. He went on to write I-B-M using 35 individual Xenon atoms. This feat has been likened to the Wright brothers' first flight, and has been followed by other results including the invention of quantum corrals, the discovery of the quantum mirage effect, demonstration of a fundamentally new way to transport information through a solid utilizing modulated quantum states, the demonstration of nanometre-scale logic circuits based on molecular cascades, and invention of spin excitation spectroscopy. Most recently, milestones made by the researchers in Eigler's historic lab include the ability to measure the magnetic properties of individual atoms and the ability to measure the force it takes to move individual atoms.
Eigler is a fellow of the American Physical Society and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He was named an IBM Fellow in 1993, the highest technical honor in the IBM Corporation. He currently serves on the advisory boards of numerous international research centres including New Zealand's MacDiarmid Institute for Advanced Materials and Nanotechnology.
When & Where
University of Canterbury and The MacDiarmid Institute for Advanced Materials and Technology
Queries about this event can be emailed to Scienceoutreach@canterbury.ac.nz