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How an atom forms a ‘ghost’ bond with a partner that isn’t there

A ghostlike trilobite bond

An electron of a highly excited atom (nucleus in red; artist’s impression) can be coaxed into bonding with a ‘ghost’ atom; this forms a ‘trilobite’ bond, named because of the resemblance between the extinct sea creature and a depiction of the nested zones where the electron is most likely to be found. Credit: M. Eiles/Purdue University

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Nature 561, 436 (2018)




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