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Molecules, start your engines!

Posted by on in Noteworthy Information
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Much like a typical car, molecule-cars preferably have a chassis, four wheels, and a molecular motor. However, unlike your traditional sedan or minivan, these structures are “… made of well-defined organic groups with pivoting suspension and freely rotating axles. The wheels are buckyballs, spheres of pure carbon containing 60 atoms apiece. The entire car measures just 3-4 nanometers across, making it slightly wider than a strand of DNA.”

To put this in relative terms: A human hair is about 80,000 nanometers in diameter!

Fans should not expect an inferno speed challenge – nor an inferno of any kind, as the surface of the runway is kept at 5° Kelvin (- 268°C) during the competition! In Toulouse, Austria will go up against teams from France (CEMES-CNRS), Japan (MANA-NIMS), Germany (Dresden Technical University), and the USA (Ohio University). As noted on the official website, the race itself will last no more than 2 days and 2 nights, including the time required for each competing team to construct its own identical runway, atom by atom.

Want to learn more about the Molecule-car Race International? Take a peek at this link to see a molecular-car in action!

 

 

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