World's Most Sensitive Scale Can Weigh A Single Proton

April 2, 2012


The world's most sensitive scale, which functions by measuring the vibration frequency of carbon nanotubes when a mass is rested upon them, can now measure the mass of a single proton. pretty lightweight. Like probably less than Styrofoam, but don't hold me to that. DO hold my hand when we go in the funhouse though because those mirrors scare me.

How do you weigh an atom down to the last proton? With scales accurate enough to measure the smallest unit of mass, aka the yoctogram, which is just one septillionth of a gram.

No ordinary scales will do ‐ the tiniest weights are measured using nanotubes, which vibrate at different frequencies depending on the mass of the particles or molecules on them. Until now, 100 yoctograms ‐ or a tenth of a zeptogram ‐ was the smallest mass the most sensitive sensor could detect.

Listen, I hate to be insensitive or anything, but if you need a scale that can measure individual protons you need TO EAT A F***ING CHEESEBURGER. Nobody likes a girl that's all electrons.

World's most sensitive scales detect a yoctogram [newscientist]

Thanks to martin, who can measure things with his eyes and makes a killing guessing weights at the carnival.

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