Phys.org reports that scientists have produced photographs showing the formation of chemical bonds between carbon atoms! Read more about the fantastic images produced here: http://phys.org/news/2013-05-first-ever-high-resolution-images-molecule-reforms.html
The images are produced by an atomic force microscope, or nc-AFM microscopy. The article quotes: “The nc-AFM microscopy provided striking visual confirmation of the mechanisms that underlie these synthetic organic nanoscale electronic devices from the bottom up.” (Phys.org)
The technology for producing different kinds of photographs and higher resolution imagery have been improving and changing since the invention of the camera. While ancient civilizations had been using pinhole cameras centuries ago, the first permanent photographic images were not invented until the 1800s. We’ve come a long way since then, as we can now visualize actual chemical reactions at the microscopic level.
The AFM technology is as complicated as it sounds! More information about the microscope technology used can be found on this website document: Nanoscience.com and a visual presentation / animation that is pretty cool can be found here: UI Urbana-Champaign.
Thanks for reading this news tidbit!