News in Brief

Molecules/Matter & Energy

An atom steps in as a mirror, ladybug chemical weapons and more in this week's news

By
2:25pm, September 26, 2011

Atomic mirror
A single atom that acts like a mirror won’t do much for your personal hygiene. But it could lead to transistors for computers that use light instead of electricity to perform computations. Researchers in Austria trapped a single barium ion, cooled it with a laser and used it to replace one of the mirrors in a Fabry-Pérot interferometer — a device that filters or amplifies light by bouncing it between a pair of mirrors. When energized by light of the proper wavelength the ion became reflective, the researchers report in an upcoming Physical Review Letters.Devin Powell

This article is available only to subscribing members. Join SSP today or Log in.

More from Science News