A demonstration of one-atom detection

G. S. Hurst, M. H. Nayfeh, J. P. Young

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Resonance ionization spectroscopy, a photoionization method in which all of a given quantum selected species are converted to ion pairs, has been used to develop a detector for a single atom. We have demonstrated the detection of one atom by using a pulsed dye laser to photoionize Cs to saturation and a proportional counter for the detection of single electrons. Some current applications, e.g., the slow transport and chemical reactions of atoms, are briefly discussed. Future applications may include the detection of rare events such as quarks, solar neutrinos, and superheavy elements.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)229-231
Number of pages3
JournalApplied Physics Letters
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1977
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)


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