Dear Café Scientifiquers, our next café will happen on Tuesday April 25th, 7:30pm in the back room at Yagger’s Downtown (433 W Pender). Our speaker for the evening will be Dr. Sarah Burke, an Assistant Professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy/ Department of Chemistry at UBC.  The title of her talk is:

No Small Feat: Seeing Atoms and Molecules

From solar cells to superconductivity, the properties of materials and the devices we make from them arise from the atomic scale structure of the atoms that make up the material, their electrons, and how they all interact. Seeing this takes a microscope, but not like the one you may have had as a kid or used in a university lab, which are limited to seeing objects on the scale of the wavelength of visible light: still thousands of times bigger than the size of an atom.  Scanning probe microscopes operate more like a nanoscale record player, scanning a very sharp tip over a surface and measuring interactions between the tip and surface to create atomically resolved images.  These techniques show us where atoms and electrons live at surfaces, on nanostructures, and in molecules.  I will describe how these techniques give us a powerful glimpse into a tiny world.


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