A group of investigators at the Griffith University have recently reached the extreme limits of microscopy, when they were able to image the shadow cast on a background by a single atom. This is the first time such a feat is accomplished.
The breakthrough is the result of a study designed to see just how many atoms it takes to produce a shadow. The team found the answer to be 1, and they managed to take a snapshot of the shadow to prove it, Science Blog
A paper describing the experiment and its setup, entitled “Absorption imaging of a single atom,” was published in this week's issue of the top scientific journal Nature Communications. The work was made possible by a super high-resolution microscope at the university.
“By using the ultra hi-res microscope we were able to concentrate the image down to a smaller area than has been achieved before, creating a darker image which is easier to see,” explains GU Center for Quantum Dynamics professor, Dave Kielpinski.