Wednesday, 4 August 2004

Quiet, please

"The world's smallest guitar, 20 times thinner than a human hair, has been built by scientists at Cornell University, carving it out of crystal silicon using nano-technology. It is 10 millionths of a metre long. The six-stringed instrument can be played by using the tip of an atomic force microscope, but any noise produced cannot be heard by the human ear. Professor Harold CRAIGHEAD, who supervised its construction, hopes to develop even smaller devices but admits it will be difficult."

No doubt, and of course we all wish him every success. Did he mean that his next project was to be a piccolo, or that it would be another guitar, only smaller? This news broke a while ago, so perhaps by now he has created a complete orchestra which nobody can hear.
Anyway, bully for him; he has already given us his name as a new word to describe someone whose life's achievements inspire the reaction: "So what?".


Anonymous said...

A truly puzzling investment of one's time.

Anonymous said...


Tony said...

What do you mean, "Oops!", Yetzirah? What kind of comment is that, eh?

Elle said...

And will this guitar stop war, feed the hungry and clothe the destitute? I thought not. It's not even going to soothe the masses if no one can hear it. Pretty useless exercise really, eh? He sounds like he's a slice of bread short of a sandwich to me.

Tony said...

No no Lynn, you mustn't be unkind to the poor old craighead. It's true that a very small and soundless guitar won't help us to deal with global warming or give George Dubya a nasty attack of piles, but we must explore the limits of nanotechnology, mustn't we?