That reminds me of the invention of the ion trap (is that the right term?)
I understand the inventor used it to trap a single ion in space, then shone a bright laser beam at it and was able to directly observe the tiny sparkle of light - i.e. he saw a SINGLE atom with his NAKED EYE.
I thought that was probably the most exciting experiment I have ever heard of - imagine viewing a single atom directly - amazing.
Does anyone remember who it was? (one of the Braggs?)
I told this story once and was answered : "no he didn't see the atom, he just saw the light bouncing of it"
quote:I don't know the specifics of the experiment, but I find it very unlikely that anyone can see light bouncing off of one atom.
Indeed, that's why I'd like to find out the details - I am fairly sure my source was a good one, but I can't remember the details.
If it was true, it surely must have been a BIG atom.
quote:I would guess that there was an energetic reaction that resulted in the sudden release of numerous photons when the laser light struck the ion.
quote:Perhaps the ion was captured in a crystal lattice, or some other support structure?
No, not a crystal lattice - my understanding of the experiment is that the ion trap device is some sort of electromagnetic "bottle" which holds a single ion in space, and that the electric current controlling the ions can limited to release individual ions.
This is apparently verified because the amount of energy involved in the release corresponds to exactly ONE ion - I wish I could remember the details, sorry.
Does anyone know anything about these "ion trap" devices?
(Talking of exciting naked eye observations - I saw supernova 1987a with my naked eye - just.)