Soulskill from the micro-machines-have-sure-improved-since-i-was-a-kid dept.
ckwu writes "Scientists at Boston University have put together an inexpensive microelectromechanical machine that can direct atoms onto a surface in a controlled manner (abstract). The device—which acts as a moving stencil—can lay down such precise, complex patterns that the technique is akin to writing with atoms, the researchers say. They've used the machine to draw rings and infinity symbols out of gold atoms, but the technique should be compatible with almost any material."
I have yet to see any problem, however complicated, which, when
you looked at it in the right way, did not become still more complicated.
-- Poul Anderson