A tiny MRI installation helped to get exclusive shots. Physicists not only photographed the magnetic field, but also managed to interact with it.
The atom’s magnetic field got photographed thanks to magnetic resonance imaging. The unit is based on a scanning tunneling microscope with a tip of several iron atoms.
They were magnetised, and therefore operated as an MRI unit, affecting the titanium atoms. When the microscope tip was energised, the researchers got a chance to establish the energy of the target’s electrons.
This is how the scientists managed to get a picture of the atom’s magnetic field. In addition, the differences between titanium and iron fields were established. This approach will soon enable to differentiate single atoms of any substance.
In future, this technology can be used to sort any molecules into atoms, which will add further impetus to the progress of chemistry and physics, including quantum systems.
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