Reaching for your glasses won’t help you read this book. Teeny Ted from Turnip Town, written by Robert Chaplin, is written on tablets only 11×15 microns (1/1000 of a millimeter) wide. That means that you will need an electron microscope to read it. Though it was created back in 2007, this is the first I have heard of it.

To make the book, a focused ion beam machine was used to carve the pages into tablets of single-crystal silicon. It’s a pretty impressive feat to print an entire book in less than 7000 square microns, however I wonder how much physical space it would take to store it in digital form on a modern flash drive. Anyone know the calculation? [via international exhibition of calligraphy]

  • Mats

    It seems like modern NAND Flash has a bit size of 0.01 µm².

    Lets assume that there is 70 characters on each “table” – this would give us 70 chars * 30 tables * 8 bits per byte of information = 16800 bits.

    The area of the book in a modern flash memory would then be 168 µm² or about 40 times smaller than this book, but you of course can’t read it with an electron microscope as flash :)

    • wolf

      Similarly on a hard disk, assuming a modest areal density of 500 Gigabits per square inch, the same 16800 bits occupy an area of only about 2 µm², assuming the bits are written as simple 1s and 0s. With an encoding scheme, this would increase by a factor of 2 or so.

      And you could potentially read that with a good magnetic force microscope. :)