Research NewsSolid-State Physics

Two Versions of Holography Vie to Show Atoms in 3D

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Science  03 May 1996:
Vol. 272, Issue 5262, pp. 650
DOI: 10.1126/science.272.5262.650


A new window on the microuniverse has opened with announcements by two research groups that they have created atom-scale holograms. To see individual atoms with holography, which makes images from the interference patterns produced when beams of radiation scatter from an object, the investigators needed atom-scale radiation sources or detectors. One group solves the problem by getting the atoms themselves to emit x-rays; the other uses atoms as detectors. Either way, the technique could be a valuable addition to x-ray crystallography, the standard way of discerning atomic arrangements, because it may be better for seeing local structures in a solid.