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Just a little something I made

On Sunday, spectators crammed into Berlin's Olympic Stadium for the long-awaited World Cup championship game. Not only is the place historic – American sprinter Jesse Owens won four gold medals there at the 1936 Summer Games – it's also huge. It has seating for 72,000 people. But as their eyes (as well as billions of others around the globe via TV) were fixed on the action, an equally remarkable German soccer field that was competing for attention might just as well have been invisible. Actually, it is. Unless, of course, one is looking through a special high-powered microscope. That other field is the product of Stefan Trellenkamp, a University of Kaiserslauten researcher, who engraved it on a tiny piece of acrylic glass using an electron beam. It took him an entire day to make it precise in every detail at 500 nanometers by 380 nanometers – meaning that it and 19,999 others just like it would fit on the tip of a human hair. Trellenkamp is "really, really proud" of his achievement. But there is just one problem: Since no one can see it, there's no point in putting it on display. So? "I guess," he told reporters, "it'll just stay in my drawer for the time being."

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