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March 1st, 2004

Tiny New Rulers

Scientists can sometimes get away with approximations. What's a few million years when you're calculating the age of the cosmos? But engineers need precision. They cannot reliably make what they cannot measure. And in the world of nanotechnology, where a billionth of a meter can make a huge difference, they've had a tough time. Now they're beginning to get some help. Three recently reported achievements show how researchers finally are mastering the exquisite precision needed when devices are built atom by atom. (more on earlier articles)


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