Holding a Single Atom

Model of an atom https://www.thoughtco.com/definition-of-atomic-mass-weight-604375

Why we are told it's impossible?

Diagram of how a microscope https://kids.britannica.com/kids/article/microscope/353462

Using Lasers to Cool Things Down?

Using 6 lasers to slow an atom down in all directions https://www.newelectronics.co.uk/electronics-technology/cooling-atoms-to-almost-absolute-zero/154182/
Comet and its long tail https://www.newscientist.com/article/2245355-longest-known-comet-tail-stretched-for-over-a-billion-kilometres/
Atomic model of Rubidium https://www.sciencesource.com/archive/Image/Rubidium--atomic-structure-SS2804408.html

From 50 to 1

Model of molecules being broken with light beams https://arstechnica.com/science/2015/07/using-lasers-to-build-molecules-instead-of-tearing-them-apart/

Deep Space Tech for Nanoscale Science

Deep Space lens, not sure if its the exact one used but this is 30,796https://optcorp.com/products/qhy461-medium-format-scientific-color-cmos-camera-102-mp?gclid=Cj0KCQiAyoeCBhCTARIsAOfpKxiJd8NLAc4xKfnv93HAMX7tHYiJfvsOOPGC1hnB4lwcNcszbwnQSCQaAs0cEALw_wcB
Image of a single Rubidium-85 atom from one of Dr. Andersen's experiments. http://www.physics.otago.ac.nz/nx/mikkel/single-atom.html

Combining these Atoms Together

Two Rubidium atoms being brought together through the use of optical tweezers https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mikkel_Andersen_(physicist)

The Future of Atomic Precision

Single-atom transistor model https://www.theverge.com/2012/2/20/2811367/single-atom-transistormoores-law-university-new-south-wales
Dr. Andersen and research from his group observing one of their devices used for atomic control. https://sciencesprings.wordpress.com/2020/02/21/from-the-university-of-otago-otago-physicists-grab-individual-atoms-in-ground-breaking-experiment/

Closing Thoughts


  • In middle school, most of us are told we can't see a single atom with an optical microscope
  • An associate professor from the University of Otoga in New Zeland, Dr. Mikkel Andersen, leads a research group that did just that
  • Using Laser cooling they can slow the atom down
  • By controlling the amount of energy coming from a laser beam, they can break a group of atoms apart until there is one left
  • Using a deep space telescope lens, they can detect the little number of photons coming off of the single atom
  • Further research the group has achieved involves combining two and even three atoms together with full control
  • The process could be used in the future to create atomically precise products but right now, the cost and fragility of the systems make this a goal for the distant future.




I am a Undergraduate and TKS innovator at Las Vegas. I am interested in Nanotechnology, Philosophy and Physics.

Love podcasts or audiobooks? Learn on the go with our new app.

Recommended from Medium

The significance of 37 January 30, 2017 Mitochondrial gene transfer (MGT) is a new technique…

Microbes Clean Up!

Fungus growing in woodchips

Environmental Engineering Recap (Week 2)

John Evans, CEO of Beam Therapeutics, on the Business of Biotech

Imaging, Tracking Cancer Cell Invasion

Gliding haramiyidans and further arguments for flying volaticotheres

An Overview of Next-Generation Vaccines

PCR Machine Manufactured in Sri Lanka

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Strad Slater

Strad Slater

I am a Undergraduate and TKS innovator at Las Vegas. I am interested in Nanotechnology, Philosophy and Physics.

More from Medium

New Year, Next Dot

Introducing the new Xero App Launcher

Running Lean — 10th Anniversary Edition

100K Google Adsense Blueprint Pack

100K Google Adsense Blueprint Pack