Royal Rife’s Universal Microscope (and Why It Can’t Exist)

Royal Rife

In the 1930s, microscope designer Royal Rife made a splash with reports that he had designed a new microscope that could view nanoscale objects such as viruses!1 The only problem was that it didn’t work. In fact, it couldn’t work, based on the basic physics of light. Rife was attempting to improve upon the optical …

Nature Under a Microscope: Exploring the Beauty of Nanoscience

Towering mountains are stretching beyond my sight, flaming roses are blossoming by my side, shooting stars are dashing above my head. You might think that I am traveling to some wondrous destination, wandering in a mountainous area and enjoying the dark expanse of the glorious starry night, but what if I were to tell you …

How Can We Photograph the Nanosized World?

If you think back to primary school science class, you may recall looking at cells or bacteria under a microscope. I remember being fascinated that I could look at objects invisible to the naked eye by simply looking into a laboratory instrument. Now what if you wanted to look at something that was thousands of …

How Can You See an Atom? – ACS Reactions Video

Here at Sustainable Nano, we've published several posts talking about the instrumentation used by researchers in the Center for Sustainable Nanotechnology to visualize nanoparticles and cell membranes, such as atomic force microscopy and super-resolution fluorescence microscopy. For this week's post, we're sharing a video produced by the American Chemical Society's Reactions series, called "How Can You See an Atom?" The …

The Atomic Force Microscope – Probing to “See” at the Nanoscale

Take a look around – do you see a surface that looks a little bumpy?  Now close your eyes, reach out your hand, and feel that surface. Got an idea of what it feels like? Great! Now, could you use what you’ve learned with your sense of touch to draw a picture of this bumpy …

Bright Nanoparticles + Glowing Bacteria = Beautiful, Useful Pictures

One major type of output from university research labs is the publication of scientific results in scientific journals. When we write these papers, our target audience is not the general public; rather, we are writing for experts in our area to tell them what we've accomplished so that they can build on our work in …

Swiss Army Knife of Science – Collaborations & Research Instrumentation

This blog post comes at a time when our center is probing the nano-bio interface (see prior blog entries below) with one of the largest collection of scientific research instrumentation to which I have ever had access. The Center for Sustainable Nanotechnology has researchers at 5 universities across the Midwest as well as the Pacific …

Spying on chameleon nanoparticles inside living cells

If you are exposed to nanoparticles, you might think they would move around inside your body unchanged. However, it would be more accurate to think of them as tiny chameleons, constantly changing their properties as they move from one biological environment to another. Nanoparticles’ large surface area-to-mass ratio, which causes them to be highly reactive, …

What’s the Difference between Magnification and Resolution? Dog of Science Demonstrates.

Seeing small objects is no simple task, but it is an essential one for scientists from fields as diverse as astronomy and nanotechnology.  In order to see tiny things, we need to both magnify them and keep their fine details apparent. Which is more important, raw enlarging power or precise detail?To help me explain, I …