Shadow of a Single Atom!

This is almost too cool to wrap your head around: This is a photo of a single atom casting a tiny shadow! How tiny? Real tiny: less than a millionth of a meter long!

Big objects (like people) cast shadows by blocking photons of light, whereas little things (like atoms) cast a shadow by absorbing photons from light — but only very specific wavelengths.

The atom is Ytterbium (Yb), captured via ion trap by scientists at Griffith University in Australia. They shone a specific wavelength of light (one Ytterbium can absorb) on their captive, and a light sensor found empty space in the light where the atom had absorbed photons, resulting in a shadow.

Walking Dead Poster is a Horror

AMC’s horror hit THE WALKING DEAD is expected to have a big presence at Comic-Con International: San Diego 2012 later this week, and this poster is supposed to be part of it — unfortunately.

This poster is very disappointing on a couple of levels: First, and most obviously, this is one sad excuse for a Photoshopped image. As usual, it’s blatantly obvious that the heads are pasted on (they are different sizes and lighted differently than the bodies). And who is that poor chap on the right? Is that… the Governor? Wow, it doesn’t look like David Morrissey at all. It took me a few moments to figure out it’s supposed to be him. And then there’s Michonne: Apparently actress Danai Gurira has an incredibly short torso — or maybe just a ginormous head and superlong arms?

Secondly, the image gives no real sense of what the new season will be like, beyond featuring a couple of new characters. Granted, it’s main purpose is to inform con attendees of where to find panels and autograph sessions, but still — would it have killed AMC to include more of the prison than just a chain-link fence?

Don’t get me wrong, this poster is dampening my enthusiasm for the show; I just wish it had tried to do more to whip up excitement in other people.