It is difficult to imagine a scientist or engineer who has not become painfully aware of the importance of metal surfaces in today's technological world. Indeed, most of the work in surface science has been initiated to explain puzzling surface problems encountered in other fields of science and engineering. An important aspect of this problem has involved the determination of the detailed topography of metal surfaces.
How flat is a cleaved crystal surface? Some instruments now available will give you a picture of it, complete with all its faults, down to single‐atom steps.