Laser Detection of Single Atoms
The development of methods of laser detection of microscopic amounts of the substance has been paid considerable attention to of late. In principle one atom is the limit of detection, since it still contains complete spectral information about the substance. Therefore the development of methods of single atom detection becomes an actual problem. Among the most perspective methods applicable for the detection are: the method of laser excitation of resonance fluorescence which makes it possible to obtain the maximum number of photons scattered by one atom and the method of selective stepwise ionization of atoms by laser radiation enabling to convert practically every atom into an ion /1/.
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