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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.

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  • xaira
    I guess building nanobots to seek destroy cancer cells in the bloodstream can wait, we gotta build a snowman!!!
    Reply
  • GlacierFreeze
    Pretty cool. 1/5th width human hair, would you even be able to see it in your hand? Wouldn't think you would.
    Reply
  • soo-nah-mee
    Snowman FAIL! Everbody knows snowmen have THREE sections, not two. Careless scientists. :P
    Reply
  • warezme
    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?
    Reply
  • doc70
    Awesome!
    Reply
  • JMcEntegart
    soo-nah-meeSnowman FAIL! Everbody knows snowmen have THREE sections, not two. Careless scientists.
    Not true!
    Reply
  • E7130
    soo-nah-meeSnowman FAIL! Everbody knows snowmen have THREE sections, not two. Careless scientists.
    Hehe, that's what I was thinking. However, just like people snowmen can come in all sizes.
    Reply
  • Camikazi
    JMcEntegartNot true!That one has 3 sections, just like us head, torso and the legs section, the micro snowman just has 2 he has no legs :/
    Reply
  • theubersmurf
    That was pretty cool.
    Reply
  • Those guy have too much time on their hands!
    - Too Much Time on My Hands by Styx (on You Tube)
    Reply