BPoD has moved!

BPoD has recently changed our domain name - we can now be found at bpod.org.uk

Please update your bookmarks!

Now in our 13th year of bringing you beautiful imagery from biomedical science every day

Search the archive of over 4000 images

Quantum Rattles
13 July 2015

Quantum Rattles

When stuff gets really small, weird things happen. At less than two billionths of a metre across – ten thousand times smaller than the width of a human hair – tiny particles of gold have some very strange properties. Known as quantum dots, they absorb certain types of light and convert it into heat. Researchers are harnessing these distinctive characteristics by embedding gold quantum dots inside a solid shell, trapping larger gold particles inside like a child's rattle. Tests in mice suggest that these 'quantum rattles' could help doctors see cancers within the body, or even shrink tumours. On the right is an image of a single rattle taken using a high-powered electron microscope, with the gold specks showing up as white blobs. Taking this as his inspiration, artist Jaap Scheeren created a giant rattle (left), with the help of some gold balloons, making the quantum world visible to our eyes

Written by Kat Arney

Search The Archive

Submit An Image

Follow on Tumblr

Follow on Instagram

What is BPoD?

BPoD stands for Biomedical Picture of the Day. Managed by the MRC Laboratory of Medical Sciences until Jul 2023, it is now run independently by a dedicated team of scientists and writers. The website aims to engage everyone, young and old, in the wonders of biology, and its influence on medicine. The ever-growing archive of more than 4000 research images documents over a decade of progress. Explore the collection and see what you discover. Images are kindly provided for inclusion on this website through the generosity of scientists across the globe.

Read More

BPoD is also available in Catalan at www.bpod.cat with translations by the University of Valencia.