The best things come in small packages, or so the saying goes – and it is something that one group of scientists thinks holds true for their newest development. The world’s smallest book.
Physicists at the nano imaging laboratory of Simon Fraser University in Canada have created a 0.07mm x 0.10mm book using a focused-gallium-ion beam.
“It is primarily a work of art – we are using it as just a fun project,” said Professor Karen Kavanagh said. “In order to read it, you have to have an electron microscope.”
Kavanagh and her team collaborated with artist Robert Chaplin, to create the microscopic book titled – Teeny Ted from Turnip Town. The book is made up of 30 microtablets, each carved on a polished piece of single crystalline silicon, it even has its own International Standard Book Number.
“The focussed ion beam is like drilling with a beam of sand, but instead of sand, you are using gallium ions and you are removing material. We probably could make it smaller. We could make the letters in the order of 10 nanometres, instead of 40. We could certainly entertain other publishers,” Kavanagh said.
The two current smallest books listed in Guinness World Records are the New Testament of the King James Bible (5 by 5mm, created in 2001) and Chekhov’s Chameleon (0.9 by 0.9mm created in 2002).
The tiny work of art is available in signature-edition copies at the not quite so micro price of about £10,000.