HMC Physics Colloquium

Tuesdays at 16:30 in Shanahan Center for Teaching and Learning, Room B460

Wilson Ho

University of California at Irvine

Visualization of Quantum Phenomena

April 12, 2005

The unique capabilities of the scanning tunneling microscope (STM) enable new opportunities for the control and investigation of matter and its transformation at the atomic and molecular scales. Some of the problems that are routinely used in the introduction to quantum mechanics, such as the particle tunneling, Brownian motion of molecules, and particle in a one-dimensional box, can be realized by combining real-space imaging, atomic and molecular manipulation, and spatially resolved spectroscopy with the STM. It has also become possible to measure quantum phenomena arising from coupling of photon radiation and tunneling electrons with the molecular electronic states and vibrational motions. Results from these experiments provide a basic understanding of the behavior of matter at the nanoscale and the roles of electron and energy transfers in chemical and physical processes that are uniquely revealed by probing single atoms, molecules, and artificial nanostructures.