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Scientists Capture Shadow Cast By 1 Atom

timothy posted about 2 years ago | from the eve-unavailable-for-imaging dept.

Science 51

slew writes "Scientist at Griffith University have shown the first absorption image of a single atom isolated in a vacuum. A single atomic ion was confined in an RF Paul trap and the absorption imaged at near wavelength resolution with a phase Fresnel lens. They predict this absorption imaging technique should prove useful in quantum information processing and using the minimum amount of illumination for bio-imaging of light-sensitive samples. Here's a pointer to the paper."

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51 comments

RF Paul trap? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40572993)

confined in an RF Paul trap

Ron Fucking Paul trap? That's what we'll get into if we ever elect this nut.

Re:RF Paul trap? (5, Informative)

zill (1690130) | about 2 years ago | (#40573021)

Radio Frequency Paul trap, also known as an ion trap, is named after its inventor Wolfgang Paul. But thanks for derailing the discussion.

Re:RF Paul trap? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40573913)

But thanks for derailing the discussion.

I would have appreciated it if that AC just wrote something along the lines of Hitler, Nazis in general, or an overstretched euthanasia analogy. That way, we needn't waste resources in downmodding, as our Godwin filters had surely marked it as such rubbish it definitely is. ;)

Re:RF Paul trap? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40573613)

Yeah cause things are going so great with obama and bush before him..

Previously Smallest Shadow (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40573031)

The previously smallest shadow was the one cast by Rush Limbaugh's dick. But it was too hard to measure because of the shadow cast by gut.

Re:Previously Smallest Shadow (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40573057)

I would like to see Rush Limbaugh and Bear Grylls in an Octagon cage match.

Re:Previously Smallest Shadow (-1, Troll)

datavirtue (1104259) | about 2 years ago | (#40573247)

I was coming in here to bitch about the stupid Higgs Boson and now this crap, but you made me laugh and ruined my whole fucking mood. Seriously, the Higgs shit took the cake, I have no faith in the science community after seeing all these old dudes throwing their hands to the ceiling and crying (yes, fucking crying over a theory) over NOTHING! Jesus fuck, we're screwed.

Re:Previously Smallest Shadow (-1, Flamebait)

datavirtue (1104259) | about 2 years ago | (#40573361)

Modded down? Really? Why, because you love the Higgs Boson too? I fail to see the significance. Call me dumb, but before you do, explain it to everyone. Yes, I read about the experiment, and the convulsive evidence is statistical readings. Forgive me if I don't orgasm all over the place. When you are explaining it, please tell me how this reflects on the observable reality we all experience.

Re:Previously Smallest Shadow (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40573781)

Basic Science. We may not be able to use it immediately, but when someone figures out what to do with it, a lot can be done.

We have electricity. What is it made of?
We have electrons. Can we control how it travels?
We have computers. What would we do if we connected them?
We have networks and internet. What can we do with this?
We have Slashdot.

Simply:
"If I have seen further it is by standing on ye sholders of Giants [sic]." -- Newton

Re:Previously Smallest Shadow (1)

mcgrew (92797) | about 2 years ago | (#40576385)

Newton wasn't the first to say that. [wikipedia.org]

the metaphor was first recorded in the twelfth century and attributed to Bernard of Chartres.[1] It was famously uttered by seventeenth-century scientist Isaac Newton (see below), as the statement "If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants"

Re:Previously Smallest Shadow (1)

datavirtue (1104259) | about 2 years ago | (#40578171)

Electricity: Net charge state relayed from one atom to the next. Getting deeper than that? Good luck, our perception plays a big part in how we gauge truth and we cannot perceive this level of existence.

Just like the Higgs Boson. It is right up there with basic photon experiments, interesting I guess, but not nearly as practical. The whole proceedings of announcements and the conference and the comments from these people flipping out over this "discovery" smacks of a cult and is way too emotional for the practical implications (zero). Grown men crying and shit about statistical readings that "they we're really hoping for," all hinging around what is a probably a politically charged project (VERY expensive Hadron Collider). My bullshit meter is going off is all, can't help it. In a time of cutbacks the Collider needs to maintain funding and notoriety--the thing cost a freaking fortune and takes a lot of money to maintain and run. I'm just questioning the value of this discovery--is the HC required to reproduce? For some strange reason people want this to be a big deal when it PROBABLY is not. For one, they assume a "big bang," which I'm not ready to assume is true because it could lead us down the wrong path of reasoning. I'm just not going to buy that this is some major discovery, until I see a practical application, just because the science community wants it to be so. As of right now, the Higgs Boson only fills in one blank in a theory, or model, with many blanks yet left.

Re:Previously Smallest Shadow (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40579585)

Oh right we should've smacked that Einstein jew and have him done some accounting, when he discovered something as impratical as general relativity.

Re:Previously Smallest Shadow (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40579749)

Are you sure you belong here? Or are you just here to push your politics?

Re:Previously Smallest Shadow (4, Funny)

aevan (903814) | about 2 years ago | (#40573659)

Um, no duh they treat the Higgs-Boson like a religious event: it holds mass fer christ's sake!!

Re:Previously Smallest Shadow (2, Insightful)

jo_ham (604554) | about 2 years ago | (#40574531)

I'm so sorry you have so little joy in your life that you can't appreciate it in others when they achieve something that took time, hard work and enhancing our understanding of science.

I pity you that look with derision on people who sincerely enjoy what they do for a living and dare to show a little passion as the fruits of the labour start to show up.

The fact that you think they're crying over "nothing" shows just how narrow minded you really are. It's a shame.

Re:Previously Smallest Shadow (5, Insightful)

schroedingers_hat (2449186) | about 2 years ago | (#40575357)

It's a damn sight more exciting, and memorable than one group of people being slightly better at kicking/throwing/chasing a ball than another group of people that evening -- and I've seen people cry, yell, shout, scream, and beat the shit out of anyone who doesn't agree with their reaction in response to sports.

atom bomb, shmatom momb (2, Funny)

ruggerboy (553525) | about 2 years ago | (#40573063)

Can't wait for the first atom photo bomb.

Bill Gates' Money (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40573085)

Let's redistribute his money. All of it. It's the moral thing to do. Take the bait, Randroid bitches....TAKE IT!

The important question is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40573091)

Do I look fat with this electron?

Re:The important question is... (3, Funny)

ackthpt (218170) | about 2 years ago | (#40573139)

Do I look fat with this electron?

No, but you might want to shed a few Higgs-Bosons.

Re:The important question is... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40574479)

Not at all, I can feel the attraction all the way over here. Maybe that's just me being positive..

Use you imagination, Mr. Scott (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40573197)

Must shadows always be cast?
Why not deluxize a shadow, just for a change.

Re:Use you imagination, Mr. Scott (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40573619)

I prefer to forge them.

Scientists Capture Shadow (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40573199)

AHA! Faster than Peter Pan!

Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of atoms? (3, Funny)

PTBarnum (233319) | about 2 years ago | (#40573215)

Will the evil scientist RF Paul succeed in trapping our hero? Tune in next week!

Schrodinger's cat (3, Funny)

Grayhand (2610049) | about 2 years ago | (#40573269)

Oddly enough the shadow resembled a cat's paw. A relieved cat insisted he wasn't responsible for changing the results of the experiment and was unconcerned about the gun pointed towards his head throughout the test.

Groundhog day (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40573427)

I was hoping for some double-slit experiment type revelation so we could have our own groundhog day.

Re:Groundhog day (1)

Sulphur (1548251) | about 2 years ago | (#40574113)

I was hoping for some double-slit experiment type revelation so we could have our own groundhog day.

The groundhog slit our hands twice each time we tried to grab one. Should we try gloves?

Who cares? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40574481)

This was done by a bunch of foreign nationals and not in America

Re:Who cares? (1)

jo_ham (604554) | about 2 years ago | (#40574549)

This was done by a bunch of foreign nationals and not in America

Yeah, and they told me they were going to use it to permanently cast the 9/11 Ground Zero memorial in shadow.

Well that's just great. (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40574555)

We finally get our first actual photograph of an atom, and it ends up being one of those artsy-fartsy monochromatic photos of a shadow. Best viewed while eating a croissant, or perhaps sipping champagne.

Cool takaway (1)

l0ungeb0y (442022) | about 2 years ago | (#40576277)

"You cannot see anything smaller than an atom using visible light"

-- what an informative and cool bit of trivia. I did not know you could see atoms in the visible light spectrum.

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