Atomic shadow photo

    The shadow of the ytterbium atom, photos before and after filtering

    Scientists from the Center for Quantum Dynamics at Griffith University (Brisbane, Australia) were the first in the world to photograph the shadow of an individual atom . Scientists have come close to the theoretical limit of microscopy, because a single atom is a minimal object that can be seen in visible light.

    The laser-cooled ytterbium ion ( 174 Yb + ) was captured in an ion-cyclotron trap and illuminated at a resonating wavelength of 369.5 nm, which was absorbed by the ion. The resulting shadow was recorded through a Fresnel lens on a cooled CCD.

    According to scientists, such experiments help us better understand atomic physics and can be useful for quantum computers.

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