Scientists are racing nanocars on a solid gold track

Scientists are set to engage in a frivolous race of single-molecule “nanocars” on, if you can believe it, a solid gold track. It’s the boldest show of academic elitism and greatest waste of taxpayer dollars since the duck penis thing. Oh wait, it’s actually the greatest thing of all time.

The whole thing is a bit of a lark, thought up by chemists Christian Joachim and Gwénaël Rapenne as a way to drum up interest in the more prosaic aspects of nanotechnology, if you can really call them that.

Each “car” is a single molecule of perhaps a few dozen atoms, arranged in such a way that the electrons fired from the tip of a scanning tunneling microscope will propel them forward. This is accomplished in different ways by different nanocars: one might enter a higher energy…

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