Electron-microscope image of the world's smallest guitar, based roughly on
the design for the Fender Stratocaster, a popular electric guitar. Its length is 10 millionths
of a meter-- approximately the size of a red blood cell and about 1/20th the width
of a single human hair. Its strings have a width of about 50 billionths of a meter (the size of approximately 100 atoms).
Plucking the tiny strings would produce a high-pitched sound at the inaudible frequency of approximately 10 megahertz. Made by Cornell researchers with a single silicon crystal, this
tiny guitar is a playful example of nanotechnology, in which scientists are building machines and structures
on the scale of billionths of a meter to perform useful technological functions and study processes at the submicroscopic level.
(Image courtesy Dustin W. Carr and Harold G. Craighead, Cornell.)
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