What’s true for jealous lovers and frustrated parents also applies to nanoscale cogs and wheels and environmental regulations: Cutting some slack sometimes gives better results than being too strict.
Giovanni Volpe, a physicist at the Institute for Photonic
An example, Volpe explains, is the atomic force microscope, a tool that can sense and impart tiny forces on objects as small as single atoms, but has limited accuracy because of thermal vibrations. Other examples include molecular machines that transport stuff within living cells while attached to microscopic strings — again a situation where thermal shaking is relentless.
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