INSPIRE

Man Takes Picture of the Impossible

Sometimes a good photo is only a small part of the story, and sometimes it's very, very small. In David Nadlinger's photo, this is just the case. Physics student from Oxford University has achieved photographic genius as part of his research in quantum computing. During an experiment he managed to trap and immortalize an atom with a simple DSLR camera. The picture, a spectacular sight, was greeted by the entire scientific community. Among other awards, it has been awarded the Scientific Photo of the Year Award by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council. EPSRC is an English institution that provides funding for research in the UK.

An experimental photo

An atom is on average 0.1 to 0.5 nanometers, not that we can actually fully understand what that means. Though, at 38 protons and 215 billionths of a millimeter across, ‘strontium’ atoms are somewhat larger in relation to the average atom. Basically, an atom is a million times smaller than the thickest human hair. Anyways, It is an object so small that we can not even really assume its size. To give you an idea, the space in which the atom in question is measured is barely 2 millimeters. So, how could such a photo be taken? David Nadlinger first trapped, one and only one atom of strontium. Once he isolated this atom, he exposed it to different lasers in order to observe it. Realizing that he was probably holding something incredible, he decided to install a tripod, 50mm lens, extension tubes, some flashes and placed his DSLR. Thanks to a long exposure the student managed to capture the radiation of the atom. An idea of genius so, in which gave us this never before seen picture.

atom photographed by camera​Image Credit : David Nadlinger, Oxford University

Seen with the naked eye

Strontium is a naturally occurring element on Earth, that can be found in very small amounts such as in teeth and bones. This is the first time it is observed in this way.

"The idea of being able to see a single atom with the naked eye has appeared to me as an incredibly straightforward and visceral bridge between the tiny, quantum world and our macroscopic reality," said Nadlinger. "While going to the laboratory with a camera and tripods on a quiet Sunday afternoon, I was rewarded by this particular photo of a tiny blue dot".

This "tiny blue dot" that we discern just then leads us to rethink the scale of our universe, and remind us that there is a world that escapes our eyes! Sometimes all it takes is a DLSR camera, a curious student and a microscopic atom to change the scientific community!

15 Feb 2018 by Elias Khatal

Trending articles

INSPIRE

A Tsunami From Heaven Captured In Austria

Amateur filmmaker, Peter Maier, has created a viral sensation on the internet with his timelapse video, ‘tsunami from heaven’. Generating over 1.6 million views and 28,000 shares, the mesmerizing video has captivated people from all over the world on how beautiful nature really is.

18 Jun 2018 by Lisa Scarpa
INSPIRE

Dubai and Abu Dhabi Are Being Swallowed By Sand

The battle we face between mother earth and humans isn’t found more anywhere else other than in these United Emirates. The aftermath gives the impression that the cities streets are being swallowed by the dessert sand. This is beautiful yet remarkable to see. Irenaeus Herok has captured these apocalyptic views.

08 Jun 2018 by Lisa Scarpa

Similar articles

PHOTOGRAPHY

Why You Should Never Use Stock Photos

Image banks provide pictures that a large amount of the online world and companies use to fill in their images blanks. However, when everyone uses the same or the wrong ones......it becomes a joke, at least to us it is...A little humor never hurt anyone.

11 Apr 2018 by Alexandre Nessler
INSPIRE

Science + Photography = Insane Artwork

The talented Fabian Oefner brings you into his world and believe it's difficult to escape. His concept is captivating and eye stimulating. Swiss artist brings together Science and Photography to inspire more than just a feeling but to invoke a thought process in order to conceptualize and accept a new art form. From capturing tiny colored crystals reacting to the vibrations of sounds to mixing ferrofluid with water paint to create unimaginable artwork.

28 Mar 2018 by Lisa Scarpa