Researchers at University of Newcastle, Melbourne, opens new doors to discovery with world’s first Scanning Helium Microscope

It was predicted few months back by WSJ, that electron microscope market was worth $10 bn.The figures are going to change drastically now after researchers from University of Newcastle, claim to build the world’s first Scanning Helium Microscope (SHM), putting an end to decades of wait in the scientific community, thus opening new doors to discovery.

Scientist can rejoice now that their samples would be characterized without getting damaged, thanks to the latest invention.

Earlier, when samples were subjected to characterization under scanning electron microscope or transmission electron microscope, they would deteriorate because of high intensity electron beam, becoming much the reason of scientists agony.

The claim from University of Newcastle, would be nothing but a boon to the scientific community and certainly lights up a path for more improvement in microscopes necessary for nanoscale imaging.

A butterfly wing under investigation by an optical microscope, versus the new scanning helium microscope.

Photo: A butterfly wing under investigation by an optical microscope (left), versus the new scanning helium microscope (right). (Supplied: University of Newcastle)

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Close up of spider’s fang imaged by the scanning helium microscope. University of Newcastle

Detail of a honey bee’s eye imaged by the scanning helium microscope. University of Newcastle

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Read full interview with scientist behind the breakthrough


“Explanation is work for second-rate minds.”

Math with Bad Drawings

You want to drive me into a fit of blood-boiling rage? Here are some options:

  • Burn down a used bookstore.
  • Sponsor legislation banning the use of peanut butter in desserts.
  • Offhandedly mention that you think baby chimpanzees aren’t that cute, and when I begin frantically Googling evidence to persuade you, keep shaking your head and saying, “Nah, they’re just not doing it for me.”


  • Or, if you want to take the easy route, just bust out this quote from the great mathematician G.H. Hardy:


The blood…

The boiling…

Oh, the boiling of the blood…


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The Essence of Mathematics, in One Beatles Song

What is mathematics? Let the Beatles teach you

Math with Bad Drawings

Okay, here’s a life regret: No one has ever stopped me on the street, grabbed me by the collar, and demanded that I explain to them the essence of mathematics.

I’ve envisioned it many times, though.

What math teacher hasn’t?

20160425071213_00003Me: So, you want to get math?

Assailant: Obviously! Why else would one human being violently accost another, if not for the acquisition of knowledge?

Me: Easy, then! All you need to do is listen to Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.

Assailant: [arches eyebrow] You can’t be serious. The Beatles album?

Me: [easing out of their grip, brushing my collar] Naturally! The whole album is trippy and spectacular, of course. But I’m talking about the final moments of the final track, a song that Rolling Stone has hailed as the Beatles’ greatest: “A Day in the Life.”

Assailant: [listening on an iPhone] This better be good…

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