Shadow of a Single Atom Captured through Digital Camera
At the beginning of scientific discovery, atoms were thought to be the basic and smallest buildings blocks of matter and thus of life. But as the scientific discovery advanced, it was found out that there are further sub-atomic particles that form an atom of any element in the Periodic Table and the universe, at least the matter available on earth. Recently, researchers from Griffith University in the United Kingdom have been able to take a digital image of the shadow cast by a single atom, something that the scientists were out after for years.
What this new development has done is not just to show how much microscopy has progressed, but allowed scientists to also make other important scientific observations through it. For years, scientists were capable of holding an atom in just a single place through electrical forces known as Paul Trap, but taking the image of the shadow it casted was not possible up until now. The researchers at Griffith University were able to trap ytterbium ions using Paul Trap technique and threw specific frequency of laser light. This resulted in the atom casting its shadow on the detector and made it possible to get photographed through digital camera.
The scientists used a super high-resolution microscope to be able to see the dark shadow. This facility is unique to the researchers at Griffith University, which allowed them to take the lead on the endeavor. This has led scientists to find out how much light an atom absorbs when forming its shadow. This is of tremendous help to imaging technique. Further details of this scientific observation have been published in the journal Nature Communications.