World's first micrometer violin still plays music

Ever have someone bitterly play the world's smallest violin at you? Well, two fingers rubbing together isn't going to cut it anymore: Johan Engelen and his fellow students really have created the world's smallest violin and it even produces music on its millionth-of-an-inch-thick strings.

Getting it to actually play was the most difficult part of the project, according to Engelen: "The tuning process turned out to be the greatest challenge. We can learn a lot from this project for the construction of other moving structures. Above all, this is a great project for introducing students to micromechanics and clean room techniques." (Cleanrooms being those bright white labs scientists use for science-y purposes.) Engelen is a PhD student at the University of Twente in the Netherlands.

You can hear the violin playing in the video below. Skip to six minutes in for "Impromptu No. 1 for Micronium," a composition created specially for the instrument by musical major Arvid Jense.

University of Twente, via io9

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