Smithsonian Libraries Receives Nano Bible

October 27, 2015
News Release

Smithsonian Secretary David J. Skorton will accept a Nano Bible from President Peretz Lavie, of the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History Oct. 30. The Nano Bible will be part of the Smithsonian Libraries collection, housed in the Dibner Library of the History of Science and Technology at the National Museum of American History.

The Nano Bible was produced by researchers at the Russell Berrie Nanotechnology Institute at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa, Israel. Engraved on a gold-plated silicon chip the size of a sugar grain, the bible’s text consists of more than 1.2 million letters carved with a focused beam of gallium ions. The text engraved on the chip must be magnified 10,000 times to be readable.

“We are excited to enrich the Libraries’ collections with this marvelous gift, which marries one of the world’s oldest and most significant texts with one of the newest technologies of the 21st century,” said Nancy E. Gwinn, director of Smithsonian Libraries. “As one of our principal values is to share our collections with the public, it is appropriate that the only copy in the United States be located here, as part of the national collections.”

At less than 100 atoms thick, the Nano Bible demonstrates how people can process, store and share data through tiny dimensions using nanotechnology. The Smithsonian’s Nano Bible will be the first one received in the United States.

About the Smithsonian Libraries

The Smithsonian Libraries maintains a collection of more than 2 million volumes and serves as an educational resource for the Smithsonian Institution, the global research community and the public. The Libraries are located in Washington, D.C.; Edgewater, Md.; New York City; and the Republic of Panama. For more information, visit the Smithsonian Libraries website.

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