Physicists Build World's Smallest Snowman

The National Physical Laboratory in the United Kingdom are celebrating the season with the world's smallest snowman. NPL built the tiny snowman by using two tin beads to calibrate electron microscope astigmatism. Measuring 10 µm across, 1/5th the width of a human hair, Mr. Snowman's eyes and smile were milled using a focused ion beam, and the nose, which is under 1 µm wide (or 0.001 mm), is ion beam deposited platinum.

NPL says they used a nanomanipulation system to assemble the parts 'by hand' and platinum deposition to weld all elements together. Mr Snowman is mounted on a silicon cantilever from an atomic force microscope whose sharp tip 'feels' surfaces creating topographic surveys at almost atomic scales.

I thought this pretty neat when I first came across it but now that I've watched the video, I think I might be in love. Look at that sweet, nano-smile! And that music! Group hug, guys.

Merry Christmas!

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  • I guess building nanobots to seek destroy cancer cells in the bloodstream can wait, we gotta build a snowman!!!
    34
  • Snowman FAIL! Everbody knows snowmen have THREE sections, not two. Careless scientists. :P
    29
  • reminds me of a joke:

    Question:
    Do you know how moth balls smell??

    Answer:
    Yes, they smell awful.

    Joke:
    Really, and how do you get their little legs apart?
    18
  • Other Comments
  • I guess building nanobots to seek destroy cancer cells in the bloodstream can wait, we gotta build a snowman!!!
    34
  • Pretty cool. 1/5th width human hair, would you even be able to see it in your hand? Wouldn't think you would.
    1
  • Snowman FAIL! Everbody knows snowmen have THREE sections, not two. Careless scientists. :P
    29