Archive of Physics Images
Light Beam with a Curve
Physicists have used a laser to create the first Airy beam--a light beam that curves, as shown in this computer simulation.
Two-Proton Decay in Iron-45
Image of tracks of two protons emitted in the decay of iron-45; research appearing in the journal Physical Review Letters the week of Nov. 5, 2007, represents the first-ever description of the angular correlation between these protons.
A New Wrinkle in Thin Film Science
A simple, inexpensive way to measure material properties could impact cosmetics, coating and nanoelectronic industries.
New Lens Device Will Shrink Huge Light Waves to Pinpoints
Scientists at the University of Michigan have developed a way to make a lens-like device that focuses electromagnetic waves down to the tiniest of points.
A Black Hole Accreting Matter from a Companion Star
The nature of ultraluminous X-ray sources remains controversial, but many astronomers think that some or most of these objects consist of an intermediate-mass black hole that accretes matter from a companion star. Recent evidence suggests that a ULX in the galaxy NGC 5408 has a black hole with about 2,000 solar masses.
Growing Glowing Nanowires
NIST "grows" semiconductor nanowires that emit ultraviolet light as part of a project to make prototype nano-lasers and other devices and the measurement tools needed to characterize them. Electron micrograph shows the gallium nitride wires growing on a silicon substrate (color added for contrast.)
The Galaxy with Ghostly Spiral Arms
This is a composite image of spiral galaxy M106 (NGC 4258). Optical data from the Digitized Sky Survey is shown in yellow, radio data from the Very Large Array appears purple, X-ray data from Chandra is coded blue, and infrared data from the Spitzer Space Telescope appears red. The anomalous arms appear as purple and blue emission.
Strain Has Major Effect on High-Temp Superconductors
Magneto-optical image of magnetic fields within a YBCO superconductor showing electrically connected grains (yellow) and grain boundaries (green) that form barriers to superconducting currents. The large reversible effect of strain observed by NIST might be due to associated changes in grain boundaries.
Laser Trapping of Erbium May Lead to Novel Devices
A purple laser beam slows erbium atoms (the purple beam traveling right to left) emerging from an oven at 1300 degrees C, in preparation for trapping and cooling. The unusual properties of erbium atoms and the new capability to trap them could lead to development of novel technologies.
Red Square Nebula
An image of the Red Square nebula surrounding the hot star MWC 922 was taken with infrared adaptive optics imaging at Palomar and Keck Observatories.
Honeycomb Network Comprised of Anthraquinone Molecules
Anthraquinone molecules form chains of molecules that weave themselves into a sheet of hexagons on a polished copper surface.
New Nano-Method May Help Compress Computer Memory
Simply changing the ratio of two chemicals in solution changes the length of iron-platinum nanowires and nanorods: transmission electron microscope images of a) 200 nm wires; b) 50 nm wires; c) 20 nm rods; d) two individual 50 nm wires.
The Smallest Particle of Ice
The "smallest particle of ice" - a water hexamer as seen by STM (about 1 nanometer wide) and quantum mechanics
NIST Process for Purifying Entangled Ions
The NIST process for "purifying" an unusual property of quantum physics called entanglement involves illuminating two pairs of beryllium ions (charged atoms) with a series of ultraviolet laser pulses.
New View of Doomed Star
The composite image of the Eta Carinae from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory and Hubble Space Telescope shows the remnants of a massive eruption from the star during the 1840s.
Birefringent visualization of the micellar fluid layer around a diagonally oriented square "cutting tool." A white outline is superimposed on the outer edge of the square.
The PEREGRINE program, a new approach to planning radiation therapy, has joined the more than 4,000-year search for a cure for cancer. Drawing on 40 years of expertise in radiation physics, LLNL researchers have developed PEREGRINE, a highly accurate computer system for calculating where and how much radiation is absorbed in the body during radiation treatment for cancer and other diseases.
Chaos Theory Observed
Photonic Art 1, by Erika Thorpe
A ferrofluid is a stable colloidal suspension of ferromagnetic particles in a liquid carrier. Ferrofluids contain tiny particles (~10 nm diameter) of a magnetic solid suspended in a liquid medium.
A scanning microscope image of platinum-lace nanoballs. Liposomes aggregate, providing a foamlike template for a platinum sheet to grow.
Active Regions on the Sun
A series of solar images shows a mosaic of the extreme ultraviolet images from STEREO's SECCHI/Extreme Ultraviolet Imaging Telescope.
Superconducting Niobium Cavity
Accelerator structures of niobium, so called resonators, are components of superconducting linear accelerators.
Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS)
On 12 December 2006, the second large endcap disk of CMS, designated YE+2, was lowered into the underground experimental cavern. The piece, weighing around 880 tonnes, took 10 hours to be lowered the 100m. (Credit CERN)
Random Sphere II, by Eric J. Heller
Random Sphere II shows random superpositions of waves on the surface of a sphere. Random waves are the paradigm for quantum chaos. This is as close as quantum mechanics can come to chaos.
Robotic Silo Arm
Robotic silo arm used to transfer tapes within the tape silo, from the Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility.
Rings of Current
The permanent magnet is suspended above a ring of current in this visualization.
The UNILAC Accelerator
Seen here is part of the UNILAC accelerator at Germany's Institute for Heavy Ion Research, in which collisions of magnesium ions with a curium target created hassium-270, a doubly magic isotope with an unusually long lifetime of 22 seconds.
Sharpest Manmade Thing
A field ion microscope (FIM) image of a very sharp tungsten needle. The small round features are individual atoms. The lighter colored elongated features are traces captured as atoms moved during the imaging process (approximately 1 second).
Transport XXI, by Eric J. Heller
In the lower right, short semiconductor electron tracks are recorded from several different starting points, in a simulation of electrons suffering random weak deflections caused by nearby positively charged "parental" donor atoms. Upper left, quantum wave function "moon".