from the brilliant! dept.
A remarkable photo of a single atom trapped by electric fields has just been awarded the top prize in a well-known science photography competition. The photo is titled "Single Atom in an Ion Trap" and was shot by David Nadlinger of the University of Oxford.
The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) in the UK today announced the winning photos of its national science photography competition. Nadlinger's grand prize photo shows an atom as a speck of light between two metal electrodes placed about 2mm (0.078in) apart.
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. The winning picture was taken through a window of the ultra-high vacuum chamber that houses the ion trap.