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Science Thursday: Smallest Possible Letters Written With Atomic Pen

Science Thursday: Smallest Possible Letters Written With Atomic Pen

By Evan Ackerman

This “Si” is the smallest “Si” ever. The dots in this image are individual silicon atoms, and an atomic force microscope has stuck them one by one (over a period of an hour and a half these two letters) onto a surface of tin atoms. The letters measure about 2 nanometers across, meaning that you’d have to write “Si” over 125,000 times just to make it around one human hair.

As a researcher involved in the project says, “it’s not possible to write any smaller than this.” Not just impossible right now, but impossible ever, since atoms are the absolute smallest things stable enough to let us push them around. Yep, this is it, folks. You’re looking at it. End of the line, smallest “Si” ever, in the entire universe, until the end of time. Mission accomplished.

VIA [ Pink Tentacle ]







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