Fall 2003 Bruin
How many UCLAs can fit on the head of a pin? Try 10,000 million.
Nanotechnology has brought forth the smallest UCLA logo in the world. It was
made with just 30 carbon monoxide molecules on copper (111) at 4 degrees Kelvin
by Lisa Wesoloski, a fourth-year physical-chemistry doctoral
student. The bumpy background in the image is made up of quantum mechanical
electron standing waves scattering the CO molecules. Phew! For non-science majors,
another way to understand the phenomenon comes from Jim Gimzewski,
professor of chemistry and biochemistry and an executive board member of the
California NanoSystems Institute. Each yellow bump in the logo is a molecule,
and the blue background is comprised of electrons. “It’s like when
one drops pebbles in water to create rippling patterns,” Gimzewski says.
“The CO behave like pebbles in a sea of electrons.”