Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Happy Holidays!

img c/o Dr. David Cox via Telegraph.co.uk

You're looking at the world's smallest snowman, standing a whopping 0.02 mm tall or so, the typical length of Paramecium caudatum (a ciliate protist) or about twice the width of a human hair.

OK, to be technical, it's not a "snow" man because it's not made of snow. The snowman figure was created by Dr David Cox, a member of the Quantum Detection group at the National Physical Laboratory in West London, using technology designed for calibrating electron microscope lenses. The body is made of two tin beads wielded together with platinum, while the jolly smile was carved into the upper bead with a focused ion beam. All I want to know is - where are his old black hat and corn cob pipe?

Here's to hoping you can find a little holiday spirit in whatever you do!