FEB 16, 2018 12:00 PM PST

Seeing a Single Atom with Naked Eyes

WRITTEN BY: Daniel Duan

Credit: David Nadlinger - University of Oxford

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
 

About the Author
  • Graduated with a bachelor degree in Pharmaceutical Science and a master degree in neuropharmacology, Daniel is a radiopharmaceutical and radiobiology expert based in Ottawa, Canada. With years of experience in biomedical R&D, Daniel is very into writing. He is constantly fascinated by what's happening in the world of science. He hopes to capture the public's interest and promote scientific literacy with his trending news articles. The recurring topics in his Chemistry & Physics trending news section include alternative energy, material science, theoretical physics, medical imaging, and green chemistry.
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