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This image is part of the feature Atomic Art


Caption: Nanowire. Computer model of electron flow in a nanowire, an example of atomic-scale electronics. The electrons are injected into the wire at the bright yellow point. They then branch out in a chaotic manner. The colours represent the phase of the electrons, illustrating their wave properties as well as their ability to act as particles. The chaotic branching (also seen in the background) is due to imperfections in the wire that affect the electric potential, creating a bumpy electrical landscape. This could interfere with the operation of future atomic-scale electronics. This model was created as an artwork by Professor Eric Heller.

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