One of the problems in studying the world of atoms and molecules – it Verstraeten variability, which is very difficult to capture. However, researchers at the University of Tokyo filmed slow-mo video of the movement of individual molecules with a speed of 1600 fps.

Usually, when talking about viewing tiny objects, the resolution of the camera means “spatial resolution”, i.e. how much of the visual pixels, the device can capture. The more pixels, the sharper the image. But “temporary permit” is just as important. Individual frames can be considered as pixels in time, so the more of them in the video, the sharper becomes the movement.

The survey was conducted using transmission electron microscope, which provides high spatial resolution. In previous studies, were recorded the events at the atomic level with a speed of 16 fps, which is obviously insufficient to give a true picture of the phenomenon. In the new study involved direct detection camera making shooting 100 times faster – 1600/sec.

On the video footage we see interacting molecules of fullerenes, each of which consists of 60 carbon atoms forming the structure in the form of a soccer ball. It is also clear how these vibrating balls are randomly oscillate inside the tube, although to the naked eye the picture may look static.

Of course, this method is useful for observing phenomena at the atomic level. However, the problem is the ability of information processing only after shooting a video. It is hoped that progress in the development of computer technology will help in the near future to capture these processes in real-time.
Source — University of Tokyo