Wednesday, 14 February 2018


Though perhaps counter-intuitive but bridging nonetheless the great chasm between the microscopic and macroscopic, Oxford researcher and doctoral candidate David Nadlinger was awarded a national science photography prize, as Twisted Sifter reports, for capturing a pale point of light in a laboratory apparatus, captioned “Single Atom in an Ion Trap.” For scale, the distance between the electrodes there in the centre is two millimetres. Laser illumination and the particular chemical properties of the element strontium and a bit of patience set up conditions where the lone atom could be photographed with a normal camera set to a long exposure. Read more about how this picture was possible and about the applications of studying the behaviour of free-floating atoms at the links above.