What kind of waves can give such extreme magnification?
The answer is in this chapter.
This image shows the rugged terrain on the surface of a piece of copper metal, but the magnification is far greater than could ever be achieved using light in any kind of microscope. For example, the spire rising above the plateau on the left is only 23 nm high, and the ripples at the cliff edge in the middle are only 1.5 nm apart, far less than the wavelengths of visible light. Yet waves are needed to make this type of image.
One primary focus of physics is Einstein’s theory of relativity, which took us into a world far beyond that of ordinary experience—the world of objects moving at speeds close to the speed of light. Among other surprises, Einstein’s theory predicts that the rate at which a clock runs depends on how fast the clock is moving relative to the observer: the faster the motion, the slower the clock rate. This and other predictions of the theory have passed every experimental test devised thus far, and relativity theory has led us to a deeper and more satisfying view of the nature of space and time.
Now you are about to explore a second world that is outside ordinary experience—the subatomic world. You will encounter a new set of surprises that, though they ...