World’s Smallest Bible is of Microscopic Proportions

April 19, 2015

< 1 min read

The world’s smallest Bible cannot be read without a microscope, and it will be on display at the Israel Museum beginning this month, reports Israel Hayom.

The Nano Bible was created by the Russell Berrie Nanotechnology Institute of the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, and is smaller than the head of a pin.

It is a gold-coated silicon chip which measures just 0.04 square millimeters, and is 0.00002 millimeters (20 nanometers) deep. The Bible’s 1.2 million letters were written using a focused ion beam generator that shot gallium ions onto its gold surface. Reading it requires magnification of 10,000 times.

The technology behind the Nano Bible is the product of several partners. Dr. Ohad Zohar and Professor Uri Sivan of the Technion Physics Department came up with the idea, while the engineers of the Technion’s Sara and Moshe Zisapel Nanoelectronics Center manufactured the chip and developed the engraving software.

The Nano Bible is being displayed as a counterpoint to the ancient Dead Sea Scrolls, the oldest surviving Bible manuscripts. These are permanently housed in the Israel Museum’s Shrine of the Book, which first opened its doors in April, 1965. An exhibit detailing the history of the Shrine itself also opens April 19. Alongside the Dead Sea Scrolls and the Nano Bible, the Aleppo Codex, a manuscript of the Jewish Bible from 10th century C.E., is on display.

All this and more is part of the year-long 50th anniversary celebrations, which the museum bills as “a year-long series of special exhibitions reflecting on the Museum’s achievements since its founding and underscoring the local and universal dimensions of its collections and programming.”

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