from the January 2008 issue

Haifa Technion scientists create world's smallest bible

Local scientists have inscribed the entire Hebrew text of the Jewish Bible onto a space less than half the size of grain of sugar.

Nanotechnology experts at the Technion - Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa say the surface of the text measures less than 0.5 square millimeters (0.01 square inches). They chose the Jewish Bible to highlight how vast quantities of information can be stored in minimum amounts of space.

It took the team about an hour to etch the 300,000 words of the Bible onto a tiny silicon surface, says Ohad Zohar, the university's scientific adviser for educational programs.

The Technion's microscopic Bible was created by blasting tiny particles called gallium ions at an object that then rebounded, causing an etching affect.

When a particle beam is directed toward a point on the surface, the gold atoms bounce off and expose the silicon layer underneath just like a hammer and chisel, Zohar explains. He adds that the technology will in the future be used as a way to store vast amounts of data on bio-molecules and DNA.

The tiny Bible appears to be the world's smallest. The previous smallest, known copy of the Bible measured 2.8 x 3.4 x 1 centimeters (1.1 x 1.3 x 0.4 inches), weighing 11.75 grams (0.4 ounces) and containing 1,514 pages, according to Guinness World Records.

Reprinted from the Israel High-Tech & Investment Report January 2008

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