Nanotech: Friction of a single atom measured with ions

Illustration: Christine Daniloff/MIT

In tuning friction to the point where it disappears, technique could boost development of nanomachines. MIT reports on recent advances in nanotechnology. Source: MIT News.

According to Nature ions trapped in a vacuum have simulated the friction of surfaces down to the scale of single atoms, and in the process have demonstrated how some surfaces can slide past each other with almost no energy lost. Source: Nature.