Physics

Researchers have placed an electron in a dual state -- neither freed nor bound -- thus confirming a hypothesis from the 1970s

Half a century ago, Walter Henneberger wondered if it was possible to free an electron from its atom, but still make it stay around the nucleus. Scientists considered it was impossible. For the first time, physicists have managed to control the shape of the laser pulse to keep an electron both free and bound to its nucleus, and were at the same time able to regulate the electronic structure of this atom.