Home > Statistic of the Week > Archive List > Detail

<< Prev 12/16/2007 Next >>

The Perfect Holiday Gift--A Book

Two nanotechnologists at Simon Fraser University have produced the world's smallest published book, "Teeny Ted From Turnip Town." To read it, you need an electronic microscope.

The 36 page book measures only 0.07 mm by 0.10 mm...which is smaller than the head of a pin. To make it, a gallium-ion beam was used to carve out spaces around each letter on a piece of crystalline silicon.

In the diagram (500x magnification) on the right, the "large" groove was made by the point of a diamond so that the electron microscope can navigate. The naked eye would not see the book, but would see the groove as a very fine scratch.

For your holiday shopping, you probably do not have to rush, despite the fact that only one hundred copies exist. And the cost: $20,000 per copy, whcih does not include the scanning electron microscope needed to read the book.

Question: How large would the Encylopedia Brittanica be if it was produced using this same process...and what would be its cost?

Source: Seattle Times, April 12, 2007, p. A13