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Articles sur Atoms

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A nanographene molecule imaged by noncontact atomic force microscopy. Patrik Tschudin/gross3HR/Wikimedia Commons

What do molecules look like?

A physicist explains how atoms arrange themselves into molecules – and how scientists are able to image these tiny bits of matter that make up everything around you.
Protons and neutrons in an atom’s nucleus can be arranged in different configurations, creating nuclear isomers. KTSdesign/SciencePhotoLibrary via Getty Images

Nuclear isomers were discovered 100 years ago, and physicists are still unraveling their mysteries

Nuclear isomers are rare versions of elements with properties that mystified physicists when first discovered. Isomers are now used in medicine and astronomy, and researchers are set to discover thousands more of them.
Lasers create colorful light shows at concerts, are used by doctors in surgeries – and are used in scientific laboratories. EyeWolf/Getty Images

What is the slowest thing on Earth?

Physicists can use bright, hot lasers to slow atoms down so much that they measure -459 degrees Fahrenheit.
It would be fun to be able to shrink people and objects, but it’s something we can only imagine. Jasmin Merdan/Moment via Getty Images

Will scientists ever be able to shrink and grow stuff?

The movies make it seem like someday we’ll be able to make people and objects grow really big or shrink really small. Whether this will be possible comes down to the smallest of things.
Mole Day is an unofficial holiday celebrated among chemists on Oct. 23, between 6:02 a.m. and 6:02 p.m. The time and date are derived from Avogadro’s number. Ekaterina_Minaeva/Shutterstock.com

A day to celebrate chemistry’s favorite unit — the mole. But what’s a mole?

Chemists sure know how to party. And here is the proof. On October 23rd they celebrate their hallowed unit: the mole. Find out what that’s all about.
Westy48/Flickr.

Curious Kids: what is fire?

Put simply, it’s the outcome of a chemical reaction, which humans learned how to make some 400,000 years ago.
The Chalk River Laboratories in 2012. Canada’s role as a world leader in neutron-scattering is at risk because of a failure to invest in infrastructure renewal at the facility. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

Why Canada must not be shut out of the neutron technology it invented

Canada is a world leader in the field of neutron scattering, winning a Nobel Prize in 1994 for its invention. But the looming shutdown of facilities at Chalk River puts us on the sidelines.
General anesthetics affect cellular proteins to knock us out. Some do so better than others, especially the noble gas Xenon. (Shutterstock)

Science lesson: How anesthetics work, and why xenon’s perfect

How do anesthetics work, and what makes for an ideal anesthetic? It’s not as mysterious as once believed, and there’s a gas that ticks all the boxes for a perfect anesthetic: xenon.

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