Minutest works big on beauty

BY ROSS McDONAGH

EVERYONE'S heard of art miniatures - well, they are like giant murals compared with the images 'on display' at a unique exhibition opening soon at a US museum. The STM - Scanning Tunneling Microscope - art shows beautiful pictures sculpted out of individual atoms. The name 'microscope' is a little misleading, as instead of looking at material, the STM 'feels' the surface. And a scientist would be very hard pressed to look through one, as the tip is only one atom in diameter. By detecting a weak electrical current between the tip of the microscope and the surface of the material, it maintains a constant distance, and maps out what the material looks like on the atomic level. The process was developed in 1981 by scientists Gerd Binnig and Heinrich Rohrer, who share the Nobel physics prize five years later. The first thing created using the STM was the letters 'IBM' in Xenon atoms, in honour of the firm's research lab in which they developed their technology. The Art of Invention exhibition at the US Patent Museum in Alexandria, Virginia, will feature more than 70 works of art.

Beauty:Colour mapping using caesium and iodine on copper :Above,Quantum Corral,an image made up of 48 iron atoms :Right,the kanji characters for atom written in iron on copper: Top middle,Blue Platinum:Left xenon on nickel


BY JO STEELE. HERE is art that captures the most fleeting of moments - the smoke from a joss stick.
Photographer Stoffel de Roover snaps away at the swirling smoke then edits the images. So far his 'pictures' have included Arnold Swarznegger an alien boss and a boy flying a kite.
The self-taught Canadian-based photographer,29,said: ' Smoke patterns can be so beautiful and diverse.
'Try different exposure settings,different flash angles and keep shooting until you're tired,your stick stops smoking or your flash gun runs out of batteries. And then you'll have to clean up the ashes that fell on the floor in the process.'
But he admits he finds Smoke Photography is 'very addictive' - proving once again that anything to do with smoking can be a hard habit to break.
Below left,boy and kite. Above stage with antler. Right,alien. 
Star Smoke: Arnold Swarznegger


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