Log in

No account? Create an account

Previous Entry | Next Entry

Tech porn

The world's first scanning tunneling microscope, outfitted to do double duty as an atomic force microscope. This machine was invented at IBM Zurich in 1981; its creators won a Nobel Prize in 1986. And yes, it really is one of the coolest pieces of tech in the world.

See that orange round thing in the lower right hand corner? It's an Arizona Iced Tea can. Some things in experimental physics never change. ;)


( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 4th, 2008 04:57 pm (UTC)
Feb. 4th, 2008 05:56 pm (UTC)
*blink* *blink* *drool* What izzat?
Feb. 4th, 2008 06:05 pm (UTC)
It's a development board for a Microchip dsPIC33. (40MIPS 16-bit microcontroller with 256K bytes of flash, 16K bytes of RAM.)

I'm using it to develop a new cartridge design for an Intellivision. That's what all the extra wiring is for—hooking the little ol' dsPIC33 to the Intellivision by hijacking a socketed connection in the Intellivoice.
Feb. 4th, 2008 06:09 pm (UTC)
Feb. 4th, 2008 05:27 pm (UTC)
But Arizona Iced Tea didn't hit the shelves until 1992. It didn't come in cans until long after that.
Feb. 4th, 2008 05:54 pm (UTC)

Seriously, I suspect the can of tea is likely part of the STI-to-atomic force microscope conversion. (This gadget is currently being used as an AFM by IBM researchers working on developing new memory based on electron tunneling phenomena.)
Feb. 4th, 2008 06:11 pm (UTC)
Thank you. I thought I was going crazy. :-)
Feb. 4th, 2008 11:39 pm (UTC)
I guess I'm not as much of that kind of geek as I thought.

I am awed by the massive amounts of aluminum foil.....
Feb. 5th, 2008 08:21 am (UTC)
That's amazing. Although it looks kind of like a prop from an early-90s science fiction comedy -- "Mars Attacks", maybe, or something similar.
Feb. 7th, 2008 08:41 pm (UTC)
A lot of cutting-edge research gear, especially in physics, looks like a prop cobbled together for a camp B science fiction movie. I've seen one of the first evaporative chillers used in low-temperature physics, and it looks like about $20 worth of Home Depot brass pipe fittings soldered together in a big mess (because, basically, it is). One of Shelly's other sweeties, slouchinphysics, works in low-temperature physics (how cool is that?) and sometimes describes himself as a "plumber" 'cause he knocks up gear for pumping liquid helium around.
( 10 comments — Leave a comment )