Heat engine may be world’s smallest

Published in Physics World, 16 Jan 2011

Physicists in the Netherlands have built a heat engine that might be the tiniest ever created. Based on “piezoresistive” silicon, and smaller than a typical biological cell, the engine could find applications in watch mechanisms or as a mechanical sensor.

Engines come in a variety of sizes. The smallest include biological engines such as the flagella that bacteria use for locomotion, which are driven by chemical reactions, or manmade electrostatic engines, which drive ions with electric fields. […]

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