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World's Smallest, Audible Musical Instrument Plays Mario Theme

mini instrument
Scientific advancements are considered mature when they can do one of two things: deliver pornography, or play a rendition of the 'Super Mario Bros.' theme. Since nano-scale breasts probably won't have much appeal to the public, scientists instead decided to use the latest in etching techniques to create a musical instrument that can rock out to one of the most recognizable melodies in the world. The "micronium" is the first musical instrument to measure only micrometers across and be audible to humans. The instrument is constructed of springs that measure just one-tenth the thickness of a human hair and are strummed by an equally microscopic comb. Six springs are mounted to each microchip, and multiple chips are strung together to produce a full range of musical notes.

The scientists from the University of Twente, in the Netherlands, demoed their creation on Sunday. The array of chips was hooked up to a computer (apparently running Windows 95, gasp!) and placed under a microscope, which then projected an image of the "strings" being plucked onto a screen for an audience to see. After playing through an original composition for the micronium called, 'Impromptu No. 1 for Micronium,' the tiny instrument ran through a series of songs that might be more familiar to your ears, including the aforementioned 'Super Mario Bros.' theme. Check out the video after the break, and if you're the impatient type, skip right to the six-minute mark to hear the micronium do its thing.

Tags: gaming, instrument, micronium, music, MusicalInstruments, nano, nanotechnology, science, SuperMario, top, UniversityOfTwente