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Laser tracking the behaviour of polymer molecules

Laser tracking the behaviour of polymer molecules

T215/0121

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Credit

PHILIPPE PLAILLY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY PHILIPPE PLAILLY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Laser tracking of molecules. A scientist aims a laser onto an industrial gel substance to track the behaviour of polymers within the gel. Indivi- dual molecules have been marked with a fluorescent chemical. Two strong laser beams illuminate these molecules, casting an image onto a screen (upper centre). In this way the behaviour of polymer molecules are studied. This is part of the French physicist De Gennes's work at College de France et Ecole de Physique-Chimie in Paris. De Gennes has studied polymer molecules in industrial gels: glue & paint, lubricants, elastics & plastic, to better understand and improve these substances. De Gennes received the Nobel Prize for physics in 1991.

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