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December 19, 2009 8:05 PM   Subscribe

The World's Smallest Snowman is 10 µm across, 1/5th the width of a human hair. The snowman was made from two tin beads used to calibrate electron microscope astigmatism. The 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.
posted by netbros (35 comments total) 14 users marked this as a favorite

 
Isn't it a Tinman rather than a Snowman? (sorry)
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 8:06 PM on December 19, 2009 [6 favorites]


Can you imagine what would happen to this poor little snowman if an actual snowflake fell on him?
posted by FishBike at 8:09 PM on December 19, 2009 [6 favorites]


On the other hand...
posted by Rhaomi at 8:15 PM on December 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


A snowman from Whoville.

(That is really very amazing.)
posted by Ron Thanagar at 8:16 PM on December 19, 2009


Inevitably, the world's smaller Tin Man will be made out of crystals of some sort.
posted by davejay at 8:17 PM on December 19, 2009


The things we humans can do. Pretty much unbelievable.
posted by five fresh fish at 8:24 PM on December 19, 2009


A nanomanipulation system was used to assemble the parts 'by hand' and platinum deposition was used to weld all elements together. The snowman is mounted on a silicon cantilever from an atomic force microscope whose sharp tip 'feels' surfaces creating topographic surveys at almost atomic scales.

Never have two sentences oozed so much festive, joyful holiday spirit.
posted by HP LaserJet P10006 at 8:24 PM on December 19, 2009 [9 favorites]



posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 8:28 PM on December 19, 2009 [4 favorites]


The smallest snowman that we know of anyway.
posted by bstreep at 8:33 PM on December 19, 2009 [4 favorites]


I, for one, welcome our new invisibly tiny snowman overlords.
posted by mmoncur at 8:34 PM on December 19, 2009


Hardly made of snow, then, is it?
posted by Balisong at 8:36 PM on December 19, 2009


not snow

[flagged]
posted by humannaire at 8:37 PM on December 19, 2009


Unfortunately, his platinum nose is worth more than the GDP of many countries.
posted by Balisong at 8:39 PM on December 19, 2009



posted by autopilot at 8:46 PM on December 19, 2009 [2 favorites]


It's snowmen, all the way down.
posted by five fresh fish at 8:51 PM on December 19, 2009 [2 favorites]


Useless without a comparably sized magic hat to bring to to life.
posted by JackarypQQ at 8:55 PM on December 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


That's rubbish, I can build a bigger one.
posted by ob at 8:57 PM on December 19, 2009 [11 favorites]


oh science; sometimes you're just too damn cute.
posted by Lutoslawski at 9:28 PM on December 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


I wonder how small you could make an actual snowman out of actual frozen water. And image it without destroying it.

Not that this isn't cool, but real snow would be so much trickier and therefore so much more awesome.
posted by Zalzidrax at 9:32 PM on December 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


This story should warm the semiconductors of the coldest nanodroid.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:35 PM on December 19, 2009 [2 favorites]




Well. Now I can finally say that I am just like an electron microscope.

We both have astigmatism.

That and the beam of electrons in a vacuum.

Just the same.
posted by Splunge at 10:08 PM on December 19, 2009


Hurray for science!



Let the fight begin:

Aaaaand in the other corner, we have our unbeaten champion, reaching a 113ft, ladies and gentleman, I give you Snowwoman!*


(* well actually I don't give you anything, I just pulled a youtube link out of my hat. Also, people are a bit unclear on the gender of it, some call it "King Angus", while the guy in the video calls it a snowwoman. It certainly doesnt look like a guy to me, not quite as balsy. Aaaanyway, the big heap melted june 1999)
posted by Zigurana at 10:13 PM on December 19, 2009


I can't even begin to tell you how awesome that is.
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 11:05 PM on December 19, 2009


Just a bit creepy...
posted by biochemist at 11:29 PM on December 19, 2009


Very cool, but real nano-engineering looks like it's turning to DNA. How about a self-assembling snowman?
posted by crayz at 11:39 PM on December 19, 2009


Very cool, but real nano-engineering looks like it's turning to DNA.

What?
posted by delmoi at 12:23 AM on December 20, 2009


I once built a probabilistic snowman out of a quark. But its snowfunction collapsed when I tried to take a picture and it melted.
posted by dgaicun at 4:21 AM on December 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


Dry Ice Snowmen: a snowman-based comic.
posted by lostburner at 4:28 AM on December 20, 2009


humannaire: "not snow

[flagged]
"

Here, humannaire; mounted on a silicon cantilever is the world's tiniest violin, playing a tune just for you.
posted by Hardcore Poser at 7:22 AM on December 20, 2009 [3 favorites]


Unfortunately, his platinum nose is worth more than the GDP of many countries.

Yea, esp. when you take the growing debt rate and contrast it with the GDP.
posted by rough ashlar at 8:13 AM on December 20, 2009


I like how one of the first things we do with amazing new technology is fart around with it. Golf balls on the moon and tin snowmen restore some sliver of my long-gone faith in humanity.
posted by Scattercat at 11:31 AM on December 20, 2009


I like how one of the first things we do with amazing new technology is fart around with it.

Actually that's not usually what we do, but there's very little market for nano-scale pr0n. (Though, Rule 34 being what it is . . . )
posted by The Bellman at 11:35 AM on December 20, 2009


i don't know...doesn't seem so tiny to me. jeez. gotta land pretty hard on the keys on this new machine to get them to work.
posted by Kronos_to_Earth at 1:30 PM on December 20, 2009


crayz: "Very cool, but real nano-engineering looks like it's turning to DNA. How about a self-assembling snowman?"

That's all we need: self-assembling tiny-snowman gray goo taking over the Earth.

Each one with a perfect little smile.
posted by double block and bleed at 1:04 AM on December 21, 2009


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