Keeping a close eye on everything: Christian Ast checks the connections of the scanning tunneling microscope (top). Researchers in the Nanoscale Science Department conduct their experiments in this instrument at lowest temperatures of a fifteen thousandth of a degree above absolute zero. The principle is always the same (bottom): A tunneling current (illustrated by the transparent bar) flows between an ultrafine tip and the sample, providing information about the properties of the sample. At these low temperatures the tunneling current reveals all of its quantum properties.
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