Researchers report that they have captured a single atom of rubidium within 'optical tweezers' and held it in place long enough to snap a photo. Writing in the journal Nature Physics, the researchers describe their work in slowing down a collection of neutral rubidium 85 atoms, then using the 'optical tweezers' technique to isolate just one. The work could aid in research into quantum computing techniques, which would require precise control over very small numbers of atoms or ions. We'll find out more.
Produced by Flora Lichtman, Correspondent and Managing Editor, Video