Friday, December 21, 2007

Biblical pinheads

(NOTE: Click image to embiggen. This is NOT someone giving the Torah the finger despite appearances.)

Israeli geekdom has done it again. This time, tech-heads in the Holy Land have distilled the whole of Judeo-Christian ethos into something the size of a grain of sand.

Basically, they've put the bible on a pinhead. Could make for a nice holiday gift, no?

Here's what a Technion press release said about this week's scientific breakthrough:

Technion researchers have succeeded in putting a full version of the Hebrew Bible, with vowel points, on 0.5 square millimeters – an area smaller than the size of a pinhead.

The nano-Bible was written as part of an educational program developed by the Russell Berrie Nanotechnology Institute. The program aims to increase interest, on the part of youth, in nanoscience and nanotechnology. The idea to write the entire Bible on an area smaller than a pinhead was conceived of by Prof. Uri Sivan, head of the Nanotechnology Institute. The project was managed by physics’ doctoral student Ohad Zohar, the institute’s scientific advisor for educational programs, together with Dr. Alex Lahav, former head of the FIB laboratory in the Wolfson Microelectronics Research and Teaching Center.

The nano-Bible was written using a scientific device called FIB – Focused Ion Beam. With the aid of this device, it was possible to send focused beams of tiny particles (gallium ions) towards a specific object. When the particles hit the object, they cause the atoms of that object to bounce off of it, thus etching it. This is similar to digging a small hole in the earth using a water jet from a hose.

Nano-bible? Sounds like a Star Trek prop. Still, it's pretty cool.


Hipster Jewfus said...

When I saw the first picture I thought the guy was giving the Torah the finger.

Blintzkrieg said...

Hah! He may be, but it's on a microscopic level.

Jorge said...

I agree with Hipster that the top photo is misleading. Still, it's fascinating.

I had a great uncle who, about 80 years ago, wrote all of Megillat Esther on one side of an old Polish postcard. It's still in my family and is a great conversation piece.