With all the debate over how big new Enterprise is, here is something from the other side of the spectrum. There is cool Trek-themed image that is making its way across the blogosphere. The picture depicts the world’s smallest Enterprise at just a few microns across, check it out below with more details.
This 8.8 micron model of the USS Enterprise was created using an ion beam that guides vaporized chemicals and deposits them into a given shape and is magnified 5000 times.
The Tiniest Enterprise — smaller than a fraction of the width of a human hair
Although the image has shown up on a number of blogs over the last few days, it is actually not new. "Nano Trek" is actually 7 years old and was a submission to the The 47th International Conference on Electron, Ion and Photon Beam Technology and Nanofabrication Bizarre/Beautiful Micrograph Contest (how about that technobabble?). "Nano Trek" was the winning entry for Best Ion Micrograft and comes from Takayuki Hoshino & Shinji Matsui, Himeji Institute of Technology (who are apparently Trekkies).
Here is their official description:
Nano Space – The final frontier. The space ship Enterprise NCC-1701D of Star Trek was fabricated in one-billionth scale by 30 kV Ga+ focused-ion- beam CVD using phenanthrene gas. Length 8.8 µm
It just goes to show you…wherever you go in scientific research, whatever the subject at hand, there is bound to be a Trekkie around trying to break through that frontier.
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