Â Â Saturday, December 5, 2009
Â Â Smallest 'snowman' - National Physics Laboratory sets world record
Â LONDON, UKÂ -- Experts at the National Physics Laboratory (NPL) have created a snowman, made of two tiny tin beads usually used to calibrate electron microscope lenses, measuring just 0.01mm across , setting the world record for the Smallest 'snowman'.
Â Â Â While the creation, once magnified in a blue light, looks like the product of a child's imagination, it was put together using hi-tech gadgetry.
Â Â Â It was assembled using tools designed to manipulate nano-particles, and welded together with tiny deposits of platinum. A focused ion beam was used to carve the eyes and smile, and to place the platinum nose.
Â Â Â The theÂ Smallest 'snowman' was created by Dr David Cox, a member of the Quantum Detection group at the laboratory.
Â Â The National Physical Laboratory (NPL) is one of the UK's leading science facilities and research centres. It is a world-leading centre of excellence in developing and applying the most accurate measurement standards.
Â Â Â The techniques used to create the theÂ Smallest 'snowman' are employed by NPL:
Â Â * To make and fine tune Atomic Force Microscope cantilevers for measuring surface topography.
Â Â * To manufacture nano scale SQUIDs (Superconducting Quantum Interference Devices) for a wide range of future metrological applications including spintronics, single particle detection, NEMS and quantum information processing.
Â Â Â * To measure magnetic properties of very small magnetic systems using quantum hall probes
Â Â Â This hardly represents the craziest science taking place on a small scale. Harvard University has used programmed DNA to create little gears, tubes and wireframe balls. Columbia University also created self-assembling nanogears for those future hordes of tiny robots.Â
Â Â Â Related world records:
Â Â Â Â Most Santas skating in a Conga Line-Warwick Castle sets world record
Â Â Â Saturday, December 5, 2009