Research NewsChemistry

Chemists Explore the Power of One

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Science  16 May 1997:
Vol. 276, Issue 5315, pp. 1027-1028
DOI: 10.1126/science.276.5315.1027

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SAN FRANCISCO-- Using lasers and sophisticated light detectors, chemists can now track the behavior of single molecules as they undergo reactions. This spotlight on individual molecules--rather than on the countless molecules in a beakerful of solution--is coming up with answers to a host of long-standing questions, ranging from how muscles contract to why light-emitting polymers burn out.