The olfactory sense has long been thought to stem from the way a battery of chemical receptors in the nose interact with molecules based on their physical shapes. But a collaboration between MIT researchers and their Greek colleagues is nosing out a far more complex and potentially useful mechanism that enables sense of smell: quantum tunneling.
Chemists have messed with the constituent parts of a helium atom and fooled it into behaving like it was hydrogen. This form of alchemy allows a physical test of how atomic mass affects chemical reaction rates.
The trickery involves a particle accelerator, a heavy subatomic particle and some knowledge of quantum mechanics.
By Sarah WebbPosted 05.01.2006 at 2:00 am 0 Comments
A baseball zooms through clouds, straight through a wall and into the waiting hand of actor Adam Smith, who is tricked out like a magician, complete with wand, tuxedo and top hat. "How do you do it?" Smith asks conspiratorially. "You just need a small enough ball, of course." But Smith isn´t really explaining a magic trick. He´s talking nanotech, in the new short film When Things Get Small.