How Many Globes Can You Fit On A Grain Of Sand?


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How many world maps can you fit on a grain of salt? Apparently 1,000 if, each one measures 22 by 11 micrometers like the one created by tech giant IBM. In fact, the globe is so tiny, it only be seen through a microscope.

Created by the company's Zurich-based scientists in just two minutes and 23 seconds, the world atlas was etched on a polymer made from 500,000 pixels, each measuring 18 nanometers. Though the feat earned the company a well-deserved spot in the Guinness World Records, that was not the main purpose of the researchers that created it.

Instead, they were trying to demonstrate a cost-effective technique that will allow scientists to create structures as small as 15 nanometers. Current methods are not only expensive, but also, do not allow for structures smaller than 30 nanometers.

IBM's new method involves using a nanoscale tip so tiny that it is 100,000 times finer than a sharpened pencil. Using this, the scientists were able to etch both 2D and 3D patterns on the maps they created, swiftly and cheaply.

Experts believe that this new breakthrough will not only be useful in chip development, but also, for building nano electronic and medical devices.


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  • gold3nglare
    gold3nglareTuesday, January 12, 2021 at 8:25 am
    That is so cool.
    • bookworm4
      bookworm4Wednesday, May 7, 2014 at 1:45 pm
      That's so cool nanometers are so small
      • aThursday, May 1, 2014 at 2:51 pm
        so tiny & epic
        • cool_girl101
          cool_girl101Friday, April 11, 2014 at 12:28 pm
          Cool but its so tiny
          • la_eliza
            la_elizaTuesday, March 12, 2013 at 1:14 pm
            • powerfulethan
              powerfulethanFriday, December 7, 2012 at 9:53 am
              Pretty cool
              • jojoSunday, October 14, 2012 at 7:15 am
                • minty123
                  minty123Friday, October 12, 2012 at 5:29 pm
                  ok i dont care about globes, but its super tiny!!
                  • twincaye
                    twincayeSunday, September 23, 2012 at 5:43 am
                    • epicepix
                      epicepixSaturday, September 15, 2012 at 1:07 pm