Smallest 'snowman' - National Physics Laboratory
sets world record
LONDON, UK -- Experts at the National
Physics Laboratory (NPL) have created a snowman, made
of two tiny tin beads usually used to calibrate electron microscope
lenses, measuring just 0.01mm across , setting the world record for theSmallest 'snowman'.
Photo: The world's
smallest snowman is just one fifth of the width of a strand
of hair and is made of two tiny tin beads. Photo by Dr David
Cox / National Physical Laboratory
While the creation, once magnified in a
blue light, looks like the product of a child's imagination,
it was put together using hi-tech gadgetry. 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 the Smallest
'snowman' was created by Dr David Cox, a member
of the Quantum Detection group at the laboratory.
Physical Laboratory (NPL) 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
The techniques used to create the the Smallest
'snowman' are employed by NPL:
* To make and fine tune Atomic Force Microscope
cantilevers for measuring surface topography.
* To manufacture nano scale SQUIDs (Superconducting
Quantum Interference Devices) for a wide range of future metrological
applications including spintronics, single particle detection,
NEMS and quantum information processing.
* To measure magnetic properties of very
small magnetic systems using quantum hall probes