JILA Imaging Technique (image) National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Share Print E-Mail Caption This is artwork made with JILA's new imaging technique, which rapidly and precisely measures quantum behavior in an atomic clock. The images are false-color representations of atoms detected in the ground state (blue) or excited state (red). The white region represents a fine mixture of atoms in the two states, which creates quantum "noise" in the image. This occurs because all the atoms were initially prepared in a quantum state of superposition, or both ground and excited states simultaneously, and the imaging measurement prompts a collapse into one of the two states. The imaging technique will help improve clock precision, add new atomic-level detail to studies of phenomena such as magnetism and superconductivity and, in the future, perhaps allow scientists to "see" new physics. Credit Marti/JILA Usage Restrictions Please use correct image credit Share Print E-Mail Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.