Nov 19th, 2008
Just when you thought an Obama thong was the weirdest way to pay homage to the President Elect, science – as ever – came around and proved that even the biggest star in the world can be smaller than a grain of sand.
Known as “Nanobamas,” these 3-D portraits of Barack Obama were the brainchild of John Hart, an assistant professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Michigan. Hart devised the puny portraits to raise awareness of nanotechnology. These are not his first artistic creation of atomic scale; his other works can be seen at nanobliss.
The Nanobamas themselves contain 150 million carbon nanotubes – hollow cylinders 1/50,000 the width of a single hair on your head – stacked on top of each other. And if you truly understand this beyond a conceptual level, your left brain is considerably more honed than my own and you’re allowed to wear the super powers shirt.
The portraits are a rendition of Shepard Fairey’s famous Obama portrait, seen everywhere from signposts to garage doors to – thanks to Hart – a silicone wafer. The Nanobamas are about a half millimeter in size, meaning that unless you actually do possess superpowers you’ll need a microscope to see them. Whether Shepard Fairey will send a microscopic C&D delivered by his highly trained platoon of angry army ants has yet to be determined.
May the force be with you, sir. Now please, get back to work – those atoms won’t split themselves. Though perhaps the Nanobamas can reach across the aisle and bring them back together.