A gnarly electron wave

Physicists at the University of New Hampshire have discovered a new type of electron wave that exists on metal surfaces. The work could have implications for research into nano-optics and high-temperature superconductors as well as providing new insights into the fundamentals of surface chemistry. "The existence of this wave means that the electrons on the surfaces of copper, iron, beryllium and other metals behave like water on a lake's surface,' says postdoctoral researcher Bogdan Diaconescu, 'When a stone is thrown into a lake, waves spread radially in all directions. A similar wave can be created by the electrons on a metal surface when they are disturbed, for instance, by light."