Tuesday, April 25, 2017
This is a cute event -- racing nano-vehicles under the gaze of a scanning tunneling microscope. Who says science can't be fun and educational? The molecular "cars" will be pushed along a gold track by pulses of electricity and eventually, one molecule will win. That the size of the things is less than one thousandth of the width of a human hair and the chamber for the race has to be cooled to -450 degrees fahrenheit only makes the contest more interesting. What is amazing is that humans can build machines at an atomic scale that actually work. There is no known practical use for them yet, but it is early in their development. This publicity event is designed to make the work better known -- and have fun in the process. I'm sure there will be betting on the outcome.