This image might look like some kind of screenshot from an old 16-bit video game, but it’s actually the first photo ever made of an atom’s shadow. Researchers at Griffith University suspended a ytterbium atom in midair, shot it with a laser beam, and then used a Fresnel lens on the other side to snap a photograph of the dark shadow left by the atom. Scientist Erik Streed has a writeup explaining how they accomplished it and the project’s implications for other research.

Snapping an atom?s shadow? Now that?s a first (via Engadget)

Image credits: Photograph by Kielpinksi Group/Centre for Quantum Dynamics