Little Snowman

Categories: Scienza
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Published on: 8 December 2009

For most children the challenge is trying to build the biggest snowman.

Scientists, however, enjoy taking on altogether trickier tasks.

They have built the world’s smallest snowman, measuring just 0.01mm across – one fifth of the width of the average human hair.

Made of two tiny tin beads usually used to calibrate electron microscope lenses, the snowman was built by the National Physical Laboratory.

It was assembled using tools designed to manipulate nano-particles, and welded together with tiny deposits of platinum.

A focused ion beam was used to carve the eyes and smile, and to place the platinum nose.

The snowman was created by Dr David Cox, a member of the Quantum Detection group at the laboratory.

The National Physical Laboratory is one of the UK’s leading science facilities and research centres. It is a world-leading centre of excellence in developing and applying the most accurate measurement standards.

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