Tiny Glass Sperm


“Made of glass, each has a spherical head 200 to 300 nanometres across and a corkscrew-shaped tail 1 to 2 micrometres long – less than one-tenth the length of a human sperm. To make their propellers, Ghosh and Fischer covered a silicon wafer with glass beads, before depositing a vapour of silicon dioxide onto them.” New Scientist

I think one of the things that’s quite interesting about this is that they’re propelled (to a fairly fine degree of accuracy) using magnetic-fields… force-fields in other words. Just like the ones off The Death Star.

That’s one of the things that wasn’t immediately apparent from watching Star-Wars – Darth Vader was only a couple of nanometers high, and The Death Star was the size of a pea. It was a serious business though.

It’ll be interesting when we manage to shrink ICs/Optics down to microscopic level – and incorporate first-personism into nano-bots. We’ll be able to go on bacterial safaris. I think that’s one of the most interesting things about first-personism: the ability to shed size-constraints – and detach ourselves from the otherwise serious consequences of getting into a fight with an amoeba 100x our size.

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  1. […] It’s about 1mm wide by 1cm long and is powered with an external vibrating magnetic field. Apparently there’s plans to mount a camera on it, which is something I went on about before, and everyone thought I was mad etc. Microbial Safari. […]