Scientists have defined the smallest, most accurate thermometer allowed by the laws of physics — one that could detect the smallest fluctuations in microscopic regions, such as the variations within a biological cell.

The research, involving mathematicians at The University of Nottingham and published in the latest edition of the journal Physical Review Letters, focuses on the sensitivity of thermometers made up of just a handful of atoms and small enough to exhibit distinctive ‘quantum’ features.

Devising sensitive and practical nano-scale thermometers would represent a huge leap forward as such technology would enable a plethora of applications in bioscience, chemistry, physics and in the diagnosis and treatment of many diseases.

This story is reprinted from material from The University of Nottingham, with editorial changes made by Materials Today. The views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent those of Elsevier. Link to original source.