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Movements in the microworld

22 May 2019
As they move on surfaces, particles seem to follow invisible tracks. New study in Nature Physics

An inclined plane, a surface and miniscule spheres that slide on top unexpectedly, as though following invisible grooves, true “energy tracks” which are created thanks to the particular nature of the contact between the two surfaces: Down there in the microworld, where the dimensions reach a millionth of a metre, in specific conditions, highly interesting things can occur, whose practical applications could expand to the field of nanotechnologies. This is what a new study published in Nature Physics has shown, conducted in its theoretical part by SISSA of Trieste, CNR-IOM and the University of Milan. The University of Konstanz carried out the experimental observations.