In this photo provided by the University of Arizona, a positrons nucleus is seen inside the lab of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory.
In the future, scientists could use the positrons to probe the atomic world, the researchers said.
The positron is a small particle of matter, and the electrons it interacts with are small, too, at a wavelength of 10,000 nanometers.
Electrons that make up positrons are called quarks.
A positron, which is the nucleus of an electron, is a quark.
Scientists believe that they have the ability to build an understanding of how the atomic structure of the universe is made, the team wrote.
“Our work is important because the basic idea is to build the first detailed picture of how a quarks nucleus works,” said Andrew R. Wiens, a professor of physics at the University at Buffalo who was not involved in the research.
“What we do in the laboratory can tell us a lot about how atoms behave, and this could help us understand the nature of the quantum world.”
“It’s a very exciting time in science,” said Paul E. Pulsifer, a research scientist in the Department of Chemistry at the university.
“The ability to make these measurements and have them repeat over and over again is a very important advance.”
The study was funded by a $6.7 million DOE Office of Science Career Development Grant.
(Reporting by Daniel Trotta; Editing by Andrew Hay)