God bless scientists. While the rest of us are feverishly trying to finish off our work by Christmas, they’re messing around in a festive stylee and making nano advent calendars. Well, that’s what researchers at the University of Regensburg have been doing, anyway.
They reckon it’s the world’s smallest advent calendar too, made using an electron microscope and electron-beam etching. It measures just 8.4 by 12.4 microns, a unit of measurement so small that I never quite got to that point in the textbook before giving up on science at school.
That said, it’s a bit of a SWIZZ, since there’s no chocolate at all behind its windows – not even a crumb. Or a nanocrumb, as it would have to be. Still, top marks for effort. “For us, the calendar was a joke – but it is based on serious science,” says the project leader. Right now, Richard Dawkins is hooting in disgust at the idea of Christmas counting as ‘serious science’.