FunCan an atom be photographed?

Can an atom be photographed?

Yes. In 2009, through an Atomic Force Microscope (AFM), scientists at the IBM laboratory in Zurich (Switzerland) were able to visualize for the first time the atoms that make up a molecule. In Kharkov, Ukraine, he went one step further and got a direct look at the structure of a single atom , proving many assumptions of quantum physics.

The photograph of a pentacene molecule (C22H14), published in the journal Science in August 2009, was a milestone for Physics and Chemistry. Thanks to the AFM located in Zurich, it was possible to observe the atoms of the five benzene rings that made up the specific molecule. The precise choice of the pentacene responded to its consideration of a matter capable of being used in new organic semiconductors. The achievement marked a clear advance in nanotechnology research and the development of molecular electronics.

Almost simultaneously, researchers at the Kharkov Institute of Physics and Technology in Ukraine were taking a photograph of a carbon atom. In it you could see the cloud of electrons that make up its structure. It was the first time that the structure of an atom had been directly seen in such detail. With this, in addition, not only the predictions of quantum physics were confirmed but also the correction of the way in which atoms had been represented since the 1980s. As it was found, the atom, more than a point, is a cloud of negatively charged electrons orbiting the nucleus, positively charged and made up of protons and neutrons.

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