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September 28th, 2005
A Chancellor powered by Brownian motion
Scientists are now seeking ingenious ways to tame the incessant jitterbug, caused by thermal energy (the higher the temperature, the more frenetic the molecular movements), so that it can be used to drive a new generation of machines constructed at the nanoscale, where nano refers to a billionth of a metre.
Scientists designing molecular machines now hope to run them on Brownian power. One example can be found at the University of Edinburgh, where nanomachines two millionths of a millimetre tall have been successfully used for the first time to move an object visible to the human eye.
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