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Monday, July 9, 2012

The Shadow of an Atom

For the first time ever, scientists have captured an image of a shadow thrown by a single atom. In this case, the atom is an Ytterbium ion, trapped in a vacuum and cooled down to “only a few ‘millikelvin’.”
Researchers from the Centre for Quantum Dynamics at Griffith University in Brisbane, Queensland, captured the image using their custom-built ion trap, which was also responsible for capturing the highest-resolution image of a single atom last year.
“The question is, how many atoms do you need to cast a shadow? We found that it only takes one,” said David Kielpinski co-author of the paper, which was published in Nature Communications.
The team praised the special camera and lens over the technique they used. Read more about it at Cosmos magazine. More

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