How to Make an Atom by The Guardian article How can you make an electron?
That’s the question posed by researchers at the University of Queensland in Queensland, Australia, who have made an atom of helium with the same electrical charge as an electron.
The team made the helium atom using the latest generation of laser-cutters, but they could have done it with a laser-assisted process.
The scientists used an ultrasonic technique to cut and sand the helium atoms into tiny cubes that could be cooled by lasers.
The researchers then heated the cubes to temperatures up to about 100,000 degrees Celsius, which was sufficient to melt atoms of the element.
“Our laser-accelerated process creates a hydrogen atom in a liquid state, which has an electric charge of about two million electron volts, a very large amount of electric charge,” says lead author James J. Anderson, who has also done research at the university’s Department of Chemistry and the University’s Centre for Quantum Computing.
“We were able to do this using only the best available laser-cutting technologies.
The resulting hydrogen atom is a solid, non-electron atom that we could then transfer to an electrode that is made from the same material as the electrode.”
The scientists believe the hydrogen atom can be used as a way to store energy or as a superconductor.
They also hope to create a helium nanospheres that could store energy and conduct electricity.