A prestigious science fiction trophy has been since won by A picture of one atom of the metal strontium suspended in electric fields.
David Nadlinger’s photo, Single Atom In An Ion Harness, was captured in an Oxford University laboratory through the window of a vacuum space, using an average camera to a very long exposure shot.
Two alloy electrodes held that the strontium motionless since it had been illuminated with a laser.
The image conquer over 100 admissions to maintain first place overall in the 2018 Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) science photography contest.
Mr Nadlinger said: “The concept of being able to see one atom with the naked eye had struck me as a beautifully direct and visceral bridge involving the minuscule quantum universe and our macroscopic reality.
“A back-of-the-envelope analysis showed the amounts to be on my side, also once I set off to the laboratory with camera and tripods one quiet Sunday afternoon, I was rewarded with this particular picture of a little, pale blue dot.”
Photos which impressed the judges comprised an intense close-up of a butterfly’s wing captured by Imperial College London with an atomic force microscope from Bernice Akpinar, scooping her place in the category that was terrific and weird.
There was also a two-part entrance from Luke Cramphorn at this University of Bristol Robotics Laboratory, with arm and a hand carrying a mobile phone, together with the selfie picture itself and a selfie with a stick.
Professor Dame Ann Dowling, ” the president at the Royal Academy of Engineering and one of the judges, said: “Not only do we have really strong, appealing photos, the stories behind them in regards to the research and why it’s being done are inspiring.”
Fellow judge Professor Tom Rodden, the EPSRC’s deputy chief executive, added: “Every year we are astounded by the quality and creativity of these entries into our contest and this season was no exception.
“They show our researchers want to inform the world about the beauty of engineering and science.”