The win this week belongs to the SADiCS team, who have been working to detect single atoms in solid noble gases in order to measure rare nuclear reactions in an energy range best suited for astrophysics (more information can be found here). This week the SADiCS team consisting of Dustin Frisbie, Kristen Parzuchowski and Jennifer Wenzl with the help of Jaideep Singh measured the photobleaching of Ytterbium atoms in a solid Neon film. In order to achieve single atom detection it is crucial to know how many fluorescence photons from the Ytterbium atoms can be detected. The graph below shows the number of detected green fluorescence photons per atom over a time period of over 600 seconds.
This shows that with measurement times over one hour approximately 79 photons can be detected.