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… on my pin?

According to the Jerusalem Post, scientists at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology have successfully inscribed the entire text of the Hebrew Bible – vowels included – on a gold-covered silicon chip smaller than the head of a pin.

I remember seeing tiny texts on exhibit in the Shrine of the Book in Jerusalem, minuscule parchments piously inscribed by hand in letters too small to be seen with the naked eye.

Technion’s infinitesimal text is too small to be seen with anything other than a scanning electron microscope.

The creators don’t expect anyone to read their nano-Bible in anything other than an exhibit, of course. They plan to display a photograph expanded 10,000 times (into a seven-meter-square poster), and even then the letters will remain diminutive, just three millimeters high.

Instead, Tehnion’s purpose is to raise awareness of nanotechnology, the incredible ability to shape materials on the atomic level. To etch the text, scientists used a special computer program to shoot a beam of gallium atoms at the thin gold plating, gouging away gold ions to inscribe letters made of lines only 20 nanometers wide.

A nanometer is equal to one billionth of meter, or one millionth of a millimeter; it takes about 250 millimeters to make an inch.

Making a Bible that small is an amazing accomplishment, but we know that the really difficult trick is to inscribe the Scriptures on our hearts, so that others can read them in our lives – without the aid of a microscope.

[Photo, courtesy of Technion, displays part of a column containing the first verses of Genesis.]

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