Just when you think you've seen it all: a seemingly ordinary picture emerged as the champion from a science photography competition and it allows you to stare into an atom with your naked eyes.
The idea of a photo of a single atom struck University of Oxford student David Nadlinger. With a standard digital camera and the courtesy technical assistance from Oxford's Ion Trap Quantum Computing lab, he managed to pull it off.
An atom has a diameter of about 0.25 nanometers, that is billions of times smaller than a red blood cell. The picture was captured through a window of the ultra-high vacuum chamber, where the ion trap was holding one positively-charged strontium atom (the faint blue dot in the featured image) in its electric fields.
Not surprisingly, Nadlinger's photograph titled "Single Atom in an Ion Trap" has gone on to win the overall prize in the photo competition organized by UK's Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council.
Single Atom Captured. Credit: Live Science
Source: Live Science