Speaker Name(s): R.J. Dwayne Miller, BSc, PhD
Description: Imagine how DNA unwinds for gene expression or how atoms move during the breaking of a chemical bond. If you found yourself picturing the motion of atoms relative to one another, you have just conducted the classic thought experiment referred to as "making the molecular movie." Directly observing how atoms move in real time during reactions, biological functions, or any structural change in the state of matter has long thought to be strictly a mental construct that could never be realized in the laboratory. To make such a movie, one would need a new type of camera with a shutter speed of 100 femtoseconds or 1/10th of a millionth of a millionth of a second. Such a camera has been developed at the University of Toronto using short electron pulses for lighting up atomic motions that represent the brightest electron source yet developed for observing atomic motions. This talk will discuss the science and technology behind the camera, applications to chemistry, biology and physics, and show the first atomic-level documentary of one of the simplest everyday occurrences, melting at the atomic level.