Ever seen a real photo of a single atom? No, it was not possible, so far but the research team of Griffith University made it possible. After five years of research, now the research team says, it needs only one atom to cast a shadow. and for the first time, researchers have successfully photographed the shadow of a single atom.
In an international scientific breakthrough, a research team from Griffith University has been able to photograph the shadow of a single atom. This is the first time in the history where the shadow of a single atom has been snapped. According to the researchers they wanted to explore what they could investigate with visible light. Griffith University researchers used a super high-resolution microscope to get the photo. The high-resolution microscope freeze an atom in time and therefore the atom’s shadow became dark enough to be viewed.
Professor Dave Kielpinski, from Griffith University’s Centre for Quantum Dynamics and his colleagues trapped single atomic ions of the element ytterbium and exposed them to a specific frequency of light. Under this light, the atom’s shadow was cast onto a detector and a digital camera captured the image.
Dave Kielpinski said, “We wanted to investigate how few atoms are required to cast a shadow. And we proved it takes just one. By using the ultra hi-res microscope, we were able to concentrate the image down to a smaller area than has been achieved before, creating a darker image which is easier to see. If we change the frequency of the light we shine on the atom by just one part in a billion, the image can no longer be seen.”
Erik Streed, a research team member said that the discovery allowed scientists new ways of researching fragile materials. At last but not the least, researchers started this research five years before, and now the result has been published in this week’s edition of Nature Communications magazine.
Source : Griffith University