A New Car, One Molecule High
Scientists at a Dutch university have shown off what can be described as the world's smallest electric car—made of a single, carefully designed molecule.
What's the Latest Development?
Scientists have used nanotechnology to design what can be described as the world's smallest electric car—just one carefully designed molecule in size. The molecule's base has four branches that act as crude wheels which rotate when a small electrical current is applied. Given ten bursts of the current, the small car was able to move six billionths of a meter. While laboratory conditions were strict—minus 227 degrees Celsius and in a high vacuum—the achievement is an important advance for nanotechnology.
What's the Big Idea?
The nano-car is an experiment in 'bottom-up' nanotechnology which, opposed to 'top-down' engineering, begins with a single molecule much the way biological systems function. Chemist Tibor Kudernac, lead author of the research, says muscle fibers, for example, similarly depend on the coordinated action of their smallest constituent parts. "This is a simple demonstration that we can achieve [something] like that." While coordinated nanomachines are still a long way off, the new achievement will encourage research.
Photo credit: Shutterstock.com
Understanding thinking talents in yourself and others can build strong teams and help avoid burnout.
- Learn to collaborate within a team and identify "thinking talent" surpluses – and shortages.
- Angie McArthur teaches intelligent collaboration for Big Think Edge.
- Subscribe to Big Think Edge before we launch on March 30 to get 20% off monthly and annual memberships.
Rediscovering the principles of self-actualisation might be just the tonic that the modern world is crying out for.
Abraham Maslow was the 20th-century American psychologist best-known for explaining motivation through his hierarchy of needs, which he represented in a pyramid. At the base, our physiological needs include food, water, warmth and rest.
Using a new process, a mini-brain develops retinal cells.
- Mini-brains, or "neural organoids," are at the cutting edge of medical research.
- This is the first one that's started developing eyes.
- Stem cells are key to the growing of organoids of various body parts.
Does believing in true love make people act like jerks?
- Ghosting, or cutting off all contact suddenly with a romantic partner, is not nice.
- Growth-oriented people (who think relationships are made, not born) do not appreciate it.
- Destiny-oriented people (who believe in soulmates) are more likely to be okay with ghosting.
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.