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A Look (Way) Back: The World’s Smallest Theoretically Functional Guitar

nano guitar

By David Ponce

For those of you who, like me, might have missed this… in 1997, I thought I’d take the two seconds to direct your attention at an almost decades old bit of nanotechnological engineering prowess. It’s the world’s smallest guitar (at least, it was at the time), and it was made by some folk in labcoats at the Cornell Nanofabrication Facility. It is (get this) 10 micrometers long — about the size of a single cell — with six strings each about 50 nanometers, or 100 atoms, wide. If it were plucked, somehow (like, by atomic force microscope, for example), the strings would indeed vibrate, although at inaudible frequencies in the order of the Mhz.

Why did they do it? Well, you know scientist types and their wacky get-rich-quick schemes…

[1997 Cornell ress Release] VIA [Gizmowatch]







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  • richard

    can i tune it

  • youhan

    didnt van halen stage-trash this guitar in -88?

  • Anon

    I am on the internets & I see this picture!

  • 234234234234

    What about the amp, drums, mic…

    Awesome, albeit little band.

  • 234234234234

    What about the amp, drums, mic…

    Awesome, albeit little band.