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Posted Thu May 7 2009: from UCLA, via EurekAlert:
UCLA physicists create world's smallest incandescent lamp
The incandescent lamp utilizes a filament made from a single carbon nanotube that is only 100 atoms wide. To the unaided eye, the filament is completely invisible when the lamp is off, but it appears as tiny point of light when the lamp is turned on. Even with the best optical microscope, it is only just possible to resolve the nanotube's non-zero length. To image the filament's true structure the team uses an electron microscope capable of atomic resolution. With less than 20 million atoms, the nanotube filament is both large enough to apply the statistical assumptions of thermodynamics and small enough to be considered as a molecular that is, quantum mechanical system. "Because both the topic (black-body radiation) and the size scale (nano) are on the boundary between the two theories, we think this is a very promising system to explore," Regan said. "The carbon nanotube that is used as the lamp filament is ideal for their purposes because of its smallness and extraordinary temperature stability."
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zotlynn says: "gimme nano LEDs - efficient and mercury-free, at the boundary"

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'Doc Michael says:
Shouldn't we be replacing these incandescent lights with really tiny CFLs?

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