Scientists working for IBM Research in Zurich have released images showing the charge distribution in a single molecule (click here for the image).

The scientists have managed to image how the electron charge is redistributed throughout a molecule when bonds form between atoms.

The image is computer generated but is interesting all of the same. It relies on a technique called ‘Kelvin Probe Microscopy’ – which essential relies on a tiny probe which ‘feels’ its way over the molecule (perhaps, unsurprisingly, this is a very simplistic explanation, the real explanation involves quantum mechanics and the uncertainty principle).

Image kindly uploaded from according to the license at:

One thing though, I never realised that electrons were different colours! 😉