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TinySci does TinyRadio

November 11th, 2007. By Dave Oei. 2,539 views.
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Tiny radioCrazy smart guys at Berkeley have created the world’s smallest radio. How small? Tiny. Hey, actually this website is appropriately named to give this story the coverage it deserves. The radio is invisible to the naked eye, being composed of carbon nanotubes only 10 nanometers in diameter and a few hundred long. Because of the unique qualities of these tubes, namely their strength, electrical conductivity, and ability to vibrate really fast, the folks at Berkeley were able to train one to act as an antenna, tuner, & amplifier. Plus, it demodulates AM and FM. Though switching channels isn’t as easy as turning the dial, it doesn’t sound like making it so is far away.

From my perspective, the amazing thing isn’t the technology (after all, nanotubes have been around for decades), rather it’s the ingenuity required to turn something so tiny and simple into a virtual Swiss army knife. It’s like Rube Goldberg, but in reverse. Note – the primary source is very good.

Primary Source (and picture): Physics Lab, Berkeley

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