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The Spaniards created the most sensitive balance


Spanish physicists have created the most sensitive to date balance – they are able to measure the mass with an accuracy of 1.7 nm.  Article scientists appeared in Nature Nanotechnology.
Libra is a carbon nanotube length of about 150 nm and diameter of 1.7 nm, placed in a vacuum chamber. On the surface of the tubes placed object whose mass to be measured – usually a molecule or atom – and then the entire setup is cooled to a low temperature (4 Kelvin).

Then, on the tube electric current is applied a certain frequency and measured the frequency of its response. Knowing her, scientists calculate the mass of an object on the surface. Using the setup, the researchers were able to measure the mass of the xenon atom and molecule of naphthalene up to that of the proton, which is exactly equal to about 1.7.


Scientists say that the methodology used is not new – researchers previously have used this scheme to work. However, the researchers emphasize that they were able to significantly increase the accuracy of the scale – to have been able to achieve accuracies of the order of 100.

According to experts cited by New Scientist, the main obstacle in front of the new technology – development of technology to such measurements became routine. As for applications, this kind of scale can be used to recognize molecules of different compounds, other than a few protons.