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A typical and now oft performed experiment with the atomic force microscope is to stretch a molecule and measure the forces necessary to unfold it. Of course, the distance you've stretched the molecule is also measured, but that distance only refers to the endpoints of the molecule. Nobody knows exactly how different regions within the molecule respond to the applied force. With single molecules for fluorescence resonance energy transfer tagged to different positions on the molecule, we hope to draw a local map of how individual domains of a molecule respond to applied forces and which ones unfold first.

Molecular physical chemistry:
Claus Seidel

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