Technion Nano Bible, world's smallest, displayed at Smithsonian

There are a limited number of copies of the Nano Bible in existence.

November 4, 2015 19:20
1 minute read.
nano bible

“Nano Bible,” the world’s smallest bible. (photo credit: TECHNION)


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A Nano Bible from the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology has made its way to the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History in Washington.

Technion President Peretz Lavie presented the bible to Smithsonian Secretary David J. Skorton last week, to be housed in the Dibner Library of the History of Science and Technology at the museum.

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“The Nano Bible represents a unique combination of history, culture and advanced science which makes it an appropriate exhibit for the Dibner Library,” Lavie said upon presenting the bible.

The Nano Bible, the world’s tiniest bible, is a .5mm2 silicon chip, roughly equivalent to the size of a grain of sugar, coated with a 20-nm.-thin layer of gold. On the chip are the some 1.2 million letters of the Bible that were engraved on it using a focused ion beam.

The writing is so small that a microscope with a magnification of 10,000x is needed to read the text.

This unique project was developed by Prof. Uri Sivan and Dr. Ohad Zohar of the university’s Russell Berrie Nanotechnology Institute as part of an effort to develop a program to increase interest among youth in the fields of nanoscience and nanotechnology.

There are a limited number of copies of the Nano Bible in existence, one of which is currently on display in the Shrine of the Book at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem. This marks the first time a model of the bible will be on display in the United States.

“We are excited to enrich the libraries’ collections with this marvelous gift, which marries one of the world’s oldest and most significant texts with one of the newest technologies of the 21st century,” said Nancy E. Gwinn, director of Smithsonian Libraries.

“In light of the fact that one of our principal values is to share our collections with the public, it is appropriate that the only copy in the United States be found here, as part of the national collections,” she said.

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