Science: Molecules in 3-D

Holography, which employs laser light to produce accurate three-dimensional images, has long been used by engineers to study stresses in building materials and machine parts. Now one of holography's pioneers is developing a new use for the 30-year-old process. Physicist George Stroke, head of the Electro-Optical Sciences Laboratory of the State University of New York at Stony Brook, has found a way to use holography to see into crystals and view the arrangement of their atoms from inside.

The implications of Stroke's work are important. Scientists must know the three-dimensional structure of biological molecules if they are to understand fully how they...

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