Technology A scientist captured an impossible photo of a single atom

23:46  13 february  2018
23:46  13 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. Using long exposure, PhD candidate David Nadlinger took a photo of a glowing atom in an intricate web of laboratory machinery.

[dupe] A scientist captured an impossible photo of a single atom (qz.com).

  A scientist captured an impossible photo of a single atom © Provided by Quartz

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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Using long exposure, PhD candidate David Nadlinger took 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.

Photos OK to edit. Pretty cool. The single atom itself is way, way, way smaller than the glow of light in the image. Photos OK to edit. Ehhh if he captured it, it's not impossible .

  A scientist captured an impossible photo of a single atom © Provided by Quartz 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.

“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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