Pope Presented with Nano Bible

Nano Bible, created at the Technion
Nano Bible, created at the Technion

In a ceremony held Monday, May 11 in Jerusalem, Israeli President Shimon Peres presented Pope Benedict XVI with a "Nano-Bible" smaller than a pinhead. Created by researchers at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, the complete punctuated and vowelized version of the Old Testament takes up just 0.5 square millimeters.

The idea to write the Bible on such a tiny surface was conceived by Professor Uri Sivan of the Technion Faculty of Physics, who is also head of the university’s Russell Berrie Nanotechnology Institute (RBNI).  The project was managed by Technion graduate student Ohad Zohar, who also serves as the scientific advisor to the RBNI for educational programming in the field of nanotechnology.

The text was written using a focused ion beam (FIB) generator that shot tiny particles called Gallium ions onto a gold surface covering a base layer of silicon.  In a process that can be likened to digging a hole in the earth using a water jet, the ion beam etched the surface of the gold layer, making the underlying silicon layer visible.


“The nano-Bible project demonstrates the miniaturization at our disposal,” said Sivan.  “This research could lead to the creation of more advanced miniature structures -- and imaging -- on a nanometric scale, advances in storing information in very small spaces, and the use of DNA molecules to store information.”

The gift included the mounted and framed nano-Bible, a technical description of the nano-Bible, a magnifying glass and a 10,000X magnification of the first 13 verses of the Book of Genesis.  The case for the gift was a leather-bound replica of a 13th century Bible, and included a dedication from President Peres to Pope Benedict XVI.

The Technion-Israel Institute of Technology is Israel's leading science and technology university.  Home to the country’s winners of the Nobel Prize in science, it commands a worldwide reputation for its pioneering work in nanotechnology, computer science, biotechnology, water-resource management, materials engineering, aerospace and medicine.  The majority of the founders and managers of Israel's high-tech companies are alumni. Based in New York City, the American Technion Society (ATS) is the leading American organization supporting higher education in Israel, with offices around the country.


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