With a demonstrated resolution of fractions of a nanometer, the atomic force microscope (AFM) is one of the foremost tools for imaging, measuring, and manipulating matter at the nanoscale. Unlike the electron microscope, which provides a two-dimensional image of a sample, the AFM provides a true 3-D surface profile. Though the term "microscope" suggests the visual study of minute samples, this high-tech device functions in an entirely different manner. How does the AFM gather information?
Back in the day
After the introduction of the working telegraph in 1839, the idea that countries and continents could be connected by a communications network became an exciting possibility. A working telegraph could transmit in mere minutes messages that had once taken weeks to deliver by sea. England and France were linked by submarine cable in 1850, but it took 3 attempts over the next 8 years before a lasting connection could be maintained across the Atlantic. Who sent the first message and what did it say?
Born on a day like today
In the 1940s, Begin headed the Irgun, a militant organization that fought against British Mandate authorities in Palestine. After 1949, he sat in the Knesset, where he led the opposition to the Labor party. In 1977, Begin's right-wing Likud party defeated Labor for the first time, and Begin became prime minister of Israel. He shared the 1978 Nobel Peace Prize with Egyptian President Anwar al-Sadat as a result of the Camp David Accords. Begin retired from politics in 1983. Why?