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Surfin': Getting Small

03/26/2009

Would you believe "a fully functional, fully integrated radio receiver, orders-of-magnitude smaller than any previous radio," constructed from a single carbon nanotube? "This nanotube is less than a micron long and only 10 nanometers wide, or 10000 times thinner than the width of a single human hair." We are getting real small here, so small that you need a high resolution electron microscope to view one!

Physicists at the University of California, Berkeley developed the ultra-miniature radio. If you go to the Nanotube Radio Web site, you can read all about the radio and view videos of the radio in action.

The videos, shot through a high resolution transmission electron microscope are fascinating. In the video, the nanotube is stable while tuning the radio through static, but suddenly the nanotube begins to vibrate and becomes a blur as the tuning the radio hits pay dirt and Good Vibrations by the Beach Boys becomes audible.

According to UC Berkeley News and Technology Review, the Berkeley physicists plan to build a nanotube transmitter, too. But they say "that won't be hard, since a transmitter is essentially a receiver run in reverse."

Thank you Robert Bownes, KI2L, for the heads-up about the nanotube radio.

Until next time, keep on surfin'!

Editor's note: To communicate with Stan Horzepa, WA1LOU, save a tree and send him e-mail instead or add comments to his blog. By the way, every installment of Surfin' is indexed here, so go look it up.

Stan Horzepa, WA1LOU
Contributing Editor



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