Monday, December 17, 2007

Technion's nano-Torah

A part of the nano-Bible.
Photo: Courtesy


And Artscroll thought they had the most portable version! Oh no!

The best part of this story is the fact that they are trying to get young people interested in their nanotechnology so, what do they choose to inscribe?

It isn’t the newest Harry Potter book.

It isn’t the most recent cheat codes for a Wii.

They chose to print the Torah!

Now, that is a positive indication of the importance of Torah in the life of Jews, is it not? What a great thing for them to do!!!


Dec 17, 2007 14:30 | Updated Dec 17, 2007 14:36

The entire vowelled-Hebrew text of the Bible has been inscribed by Technion scientists on a gold-coated silicon surface smaller than the head of a pin. This is not an attempt to make the holy book more portable, but to arouse public interest in nanotechnology. It was part of an educational program developed at the Russell Berrie Nanotechnology Institute at Haifa's Technion-Israel Institute of Technology aimed especially at young people.

The idea to inscribe the whole biblical text using a focussed-ion device was that of Prof. Uri Sivan, director of the Berrie Institute and carried out by Ohad Zohar, the center's physics education adviser, along with Dr. Alex Lahav, formerly lab director of the Wolfson Center for Microelectronics.

The device shoots gallium ions toward a solid object, causing atoms to erode and thus creating an inscription, similar to the process of holes created in the earth when a rubber hose splashes water on it with great force. When the ions are shot at the surface, gold ions are removed from a 20-nanometer-wide spot to expose the darker silicon substrate underneath. A nanometer is equal to one billionth of meter or one millionth of a millimeter. The resulting letters can be observed only with a scanning electron microscope.

The nano-Bible was produced at the Technion with a special computer program that can create any text on a tiny surface. The project was aimed at answering the questions "How small can the Bible be?" and how to store data in a very small space. In the future, nanotechnology experts hope to inscribe data on DNA or other bio-molecules.

The fact that the Bible contains a large amount of text - about 10 million bits - was a major factor in choosing to store it at high density on silicon, the researchers said. "The nano-Bible project was aimed at displaying the miniaturization ability we have," said Sivan.

"We are now working on photographing the whole nano-Bible using a scanning electron microscope and to expand the image 10,000 times to hang it on the wall of the Technion's physics faculty in a seven-by-seven-meter frame. It will be possible to read the entire Bible with the naked eye, and the height of each letter will be three milimeters. Next to the picture will be the original nano-Bible, which is the size of a crystal of sugar," added Zohar.

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