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Tech & Science A scientist captured an impossible photo of a single atom

11:07  14 february  2018
11:07  14 february  2018 Source:   qz.com

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"A student at the University of Oxford is being celebrated in the world of science photography for capturing a single , floating atom with an ordinary camera.

In it, the single strontium atom is illuminated by a laser while suspended in the air by two electrodes. For a sense of scale, those two electrodes on each The image won first prize in a science photo contest conducted by UK based Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).

The winning image, © David Nadlinger/University of Oxford/EPSRC The winning image, "Single Atom in Ion Trap."

A student at the University of Oxford is being celebrated in the world of science photography for capturing a single, floating atom with an ordinary camera.

Using long exposure, PhD candidate David Nadlinger took a a photo of a glowing atom in an intricate web of laboratory machinery. In it, the single strontium atom is illuminated by a laser while suspended in the air by two electrodes. For a sense of scale, those two electrodes on each side of the tiny dot are only two millimeters apart.

The image won first prize in a science photo contest conducted by UK based Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).

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In the photo , a single atom of strontium is held almost perfectly still by an electrical field generated by a pair of electrodes. A laser excites and illuminates ‘ Single Atom in an Ion Trap’, by David Nadlinger, from the University of Oxford, shows the atom held by the fields emanating from the metal electrodes

In the photo , a single atom of Strontium, which is the largest type of atom , is held almost perfectly still by an electrical field generated by a pair of electrodes. A laser excites and illuminates the atom , which shines like a tiny speck of dust caught in the glare of the sun. Still, you probably have to squint to see it.

The winning image, © David Nadlinger/University of Oxford/EPSRC The winning image, "Single Atom in Ion Trap." The EPSRC explains how a single atom is somehow visible to a normal camera:

When illuminated by a laser of the right blue-violet colour, the atom absorbs and re-emits light particles sufficiently quickly for an ordinary camera to capture it in a long exposure photograph.

In the award’s announcement, Nadlinger is quoted on trying to render the microscopic visible through conventional photography. “The idea of being able to see a single atom with the naked eye had struck me as a wonderfully direct and visceral bridge between the miniscule quantum world and our macroscopic reality,” he said.

Other than using extension tubes, a lens accessory that increases the focal length of an existing lens and is typically reserved for extreme close-up photography, Nadlinger used normal gear that most photographers have access to. Even without a particularly complicated rig, his patience and attention to detail paid off.

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The EPSRC explains how a single atom is somehow visible to a normal camera: When illuminated by a laser of the right blue-violet colour, the atom absorbs and re-emits Article link: www.msn.com/en-us/news/technology/ a - scientist - captured - an - impossible - photo - of - a - single - atom /ar-BBJ5C2U?li

Oxford scientists capture breathtaking photo of a single atom - www.ibtimes.co.uk. A strontium atom is suspended in high vacuum and illuminated consistently isolate and capture a fast-moving neutral atom "I learnt at elementary school that it is impossible to see a single atom through a microscope.

“When I set off to the lab with camera and tripods one quiet Sunday afternoon,” he said, “I was rewarded with this particular picture of a small, pale blue dot.”

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