IBM super-quiet room

IBM has just finished building new noise-free labs at its Binnig and Rohrer Nanotechnology Center in Zurich, Switzerland. The labs are designed to keep out vibrations, audio and radio noise, and magnetic fields so atomic-scale structures can be studied.

Humans are too hot and cause too many vibrations to be in the same room as a super-precise transmission electron microscope, so IBM Research runs it by remote control. A video camera lets researchers keep an eye on equipment, and patterned baffles absorb sound.

Updated:
Photo by: Stephen Shankland/CNET / Caption by:

Nobel Prize honorees

Gerd Binnig and Heinrich Rohrer, two researchers at IBM's research lab in Zurich, Switzerland, received the Nobel prize for developing the scanning tunneling microscope. That instrument is now a fixture for nanotechnology research. This is a replica of the medal.
Updated:
Photo by: Stephen Shankland/CNET / Caption by:

IBM transmission electron microscope

Rolf Erni, head of the Electron Microscopy Center at the Empa materials science research center, talks to a reporter next to a massive transmission electron microscope that can observe structures as detailed as individual atoms and chemical bond types.
Updated:
Photo by: Stephen Shankland/CNET / Caption by:

IBM spin-polarized scanning electron microscope

One super-precise instrument in IBM's noise-free rooms is this spin-polarized scanning electron microscope, which can be used to gauge the exact details about magnetic materials. Samples that researchers investigate are placed inside a chamber with a vacuum as hard as in space above Earth.
Updated:
Photo by: Stephen Shankland/CNET / Caption by:

IBM nanotech center honorees

IBM built its new noise-free labs at its Binnig and Rohrer Nanotechnology Center at IBM Research's Zurich lab. The center is named after Gerd Binnig and Heinrich Rohrer, IBM researchers awarded the Nobel Prize for their invention of the scanning tunneling microscope.
Updated:
Photo by: Stephen Shankland/CNET / Caption by:

IBM Research in Zurich

IBM Research investigates supercomputing, nanotechnology, medicine, and more at its Zurich labs.
Updated:
Photo by: Stephen Shankland/CNET / Caption by:

IBM: Think

IBM's famous exhortation to employees, "think," gets special prominence at its research lab in Zurich.
Updated:
Photo by: Stephen Shankland/CNET / Caption by:

IBM super-quiet research center

IBM's noise-free rooms are shielded from several types of disturbances.
Updated:
Photo by: Stephen Shankland/CNET / Caption by:
Hot Galleries

CNET's Holiday Gift Guide

'Tis the season for a gadget upgrade

Check out these 8 tablets you'll want to bring home for the holidays.

Hot Products