Ever wondered what a single atom of gold looks like? A new microscope at the University of Victoria may be able to give you a glimpse.
After a year of painstaking assembly, the seven-tonne, 4.5-metre tall Scanning Transmission Electron Holography Microscope (STEHM) has been unveiled at UVic, and there’s already a waiting list to peer through its lens.
“The STEHM will be used by local, regional, national and international scientists and engineers for a plethora of research projects,” said Dr. Rodney Herring in a statement. “This enables us to see the unseen world.”
Herring and his team gave the microscope a test drive recently, looking at a gold atom at a resolution of 35 picometres (one picometre is one trillionth of a metre). According to the university, the resolution is about 20 million times human sight, making STEHM the most powerful microscope in the world.
The list of those wanting to use the STEHM include scholars from Spain, a local company that manufactures radiation detectors and Ballard Power Systems, the B.C.-based hydrogen fuel cell firm.