worlds smallest snowman 1 World's tiniest "snow" man

If you’re like me, you may be disappointed to learn that the world’s smallest snowman is, in fact, not made of snow at all. It’s tin that’s been etched with a focused ion beam (FIB) instrument, with bits of ion-welded platinum for the nose and to hold the tin spheres together. I guess it’s impractical to work with actual ice when you’re at the 10 micrometer scale. For comparison, a human hair is about 50 micrometers across. It’s the work of Dr. David Cox and co-workers at the National Physical Laboratory in London.

Sean Michael Ragan

I am descended from 5,000 generations of tool-using primates. Also, I went to college and stuff. I am a long-time contributor to MAKE magazine and makezine.com. My work has also appeared in ReadyMade, c’t – Magazin für Computertechnik, and The Wall Street Journal.


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