Trapped electrons behave like electrons attached to an atom and stay in specific locations. Using a spectroscope, the researchers determined the energy levels in the quantum dot, observing how they behaved in a magnetic field of varying strength and orientation. This allowed the researchers to calculate the shape of an electron’s wave function in a quantum dot and scale it down to scales less than a nanometer.
“We can simply use this method to show what an electron looks like for the first time,” said physicist Daniel Loss of the University of Basel, but that wasn’t all they did. By regulating the electric field, they were able to change the shape of electron movement and precisely control their spin.
This has huge implications for future research and technologies. Being able to control the shape of an electron’s wave function can be quite useful.