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Institute of Optics

Writing on an Atom

"Optics" Written on an Atom

This picture is actually a graph of an atomic electron wave function made up of a superposition of the 2500 angular momentum states that make up the n = 50 Rydberg manifold of hydrogen. The states are mostly localized on a spherical surface of radius 2500 Bohr radii. The phase of the wave function at each point is mapped onto hue (color) while the amplitude of the wave function is mapped onto saturation (brightness). This picture illustrates the fact that a single atom has an enormous information capacity - if one can control it well enough to write and readout the encoded information.




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Web page maintained by
Hideomi Nihira ( nihira@optics.rochester.edu ).
Last modified 13 September 2006