Crystallized Barium Ions

barium ions
Ten barium ions are trapped and cooled with lasers to produce a crystal-like structure suspended in space.

A novel ion trap allows physicists to capture atoms and hold them in crystal–like configurations in free space. An integrated mirror provides efficient collection of fluorescent light emitted by the ions when they are illuminated with laser light, leading to the image shown here.

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Reporters and Editors

Reporters may freely use this image. Credit format: Image courtesy of Boris Blinov, University of Washington (2011).