SALE EXTENDED! 15% off! Use the code BLACKFRIDAY15 on checkout *some restrictions apply.

March 3, 2013 AT 12:24 am

First Picture of an Atom’s Shadow

From National Geographic:

Scientists have taken the first ever snapshot of an atom’s shadow—the smallest ever photographed using visible light. The imaging technique could have big implications for genetic research and cryptography, researchers say.

The pioneering shutterbugs used an electrical field to suspend a charged atom, or ion, of the element ytterbium in a vacuum chamber. They then shot a laser beam—about a thousand times wider than the atom—at the ytterbium.

The ytterbium atom absorbed a tiny portion of the light, and the resulting shadow was magnified by a lens attached to a microscope, then recorded via a digital camera sensor.

The team used ytterbium because they knew they could create lasers of the right color to be strongly absorbed by the element.

Check out all the Circuit Playground Episodes! Our new kid’s show and subscribe!

Have an amazing project to share? Join the SHOW-AND-TELL every Wednesday night at 7:30pm ET on Google+ Hangouts.

Join us every Wednesday night at 8pm ET for Ask an Engineer!

Learn resistor values with Mho’s Resistance or get the best electronics calculator for engineers “Circuit Playground”Adafruit’s Apps!

Maker Business — “Finally — some data on whether crowdfunding is a good investment or not”

Wearables — Sample code is your new best friend

Electronics — Meaningful gains

Get the only spam-free daily newsletter about wearables, running a "maker business", electronic tips and more! Subscribe at !

No Comments

No comments yet.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.