Watch the world's smallest periodic table being etched onto a human hair!

Illustration for article titled Watch the worlds smallest periodic table being etched onto a human hair!

Using focused ion beams, nanoscientists wrote the entire periodic table of elements onto a single human hair, and filmed the whole thing for your edification. As a bonus, watch them etch a Christmas greeting onto a snowflake!


The experts at the University of Nottingham's Nanotechnology and Nanoscience Centre were able to fit the entire periodic table - including all known actinides and lanthanides! - onto a professor's single curly hair. That's so small that the same table could have been copied onto a post-it note well over a million times with room to spare. They believe this is the smallest periodic table ever written. Here's how they did it:

And, because 'tis the season, here's another video from the University of Nottingham in which they write "Merry Christmas" onto some newly fallen snow:

[The Periodic Table of Videos and Sixty Symbols]

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Matthew Abel

Wouldn't be crazy to have a periodic table made up of a single atom of each element in order? Not that that's remotely possible, but one thinks of these things.