Invasion of the jivin’ nano-shrooms

Convertin’ a constant force into an oscillatin’ one is a useful trick. Ya’ll seen em: gravity-powered pendulums and wind-powered turbines for example, them both set machines a-spinin and a-swingin by exploitin’ a constant force.

Them machines might work sweetly at macroscopic scales but ain’t nobody cracked it on the nanoscale even though nanobods are a-chompin at the bit to reproduce this trick. The trouble is that gravity ain’t strong enough at this level and as for wind, who you kiddin?

That leaves only tricky-dicky forces from the dizzy world of electrostatics and magnetics and these are so poorly understood on tiny scales that them nanobods are still a-wondrin and a-ponderin over how to harness them.

But Hyun “Mighty” Kim and his crew at the University of Wisconsin-Madison say they cracked it.

Their device is a kinda nano-mushroom that stands between the plates of a capacitor, in a constant DC field.

Give the mushroom a push and it leans towards the source electrode where electrons tunnel across into the mushroom head. The DC field exerts a force on this extra charge on the ‘shroom, pushing it towards the drain electrode where the electrons jump ship. The force disappears and the mushroom’s stiffness sends it swinging back to the source again like metronome, and the process starts again.

Voila! A nanomechanical oscillator that converts a a constant force into an oscillation.

Them nanobods are gonna be cockahoop over this one, betcha!

Ref: Self Excitation of Nano-Mechanical Pillars

15 Responses to “Invasion of the jivin’ nano-shrooms”

  1. JR says:

    Maybe I’m just in a grumpy mood, but I think I found the Southern aww-shucks speak as incomprehensible as most people find physics jargon. >:O

  2. DC says:

    Wow! What an interesting discovery.

    Wow! What a dumb-ass write-up of such an interesting discovery. I have this horrible horrible feeling that we may have witnessed the future of scientific discourse.

  3. Kenny says:

    No it’s not you. If you are going to write an article about technical stuff, you need to speak in a language that most of the population of English speakers can relate to. Not the jivin’ tong of da crab from da litle mermade dontcha know. Dem be bad eboniks mon.

  4. NP says:

    Very interesting article, only thing I didn’t like was the southern-like accent.

  5. Nick says:

    Interesting article. The blog post’s slang is almost unreadable to me (English is my second language), and I suspect many other non-native English speakers would have trouble with it, too.

  6. Mark-L says:

    Sheesh, people, go get a couple large, stiff drinks next happy hour — ya’ need ’em. You can’t handle a journalist passing on news with a creative delivery without bitchin’? Or does everything you see have to done by a standard and in MS Arial to boot? I appreciated the departure from the norm… made me smile after working a 16-hour stretch. Some people are just made to complain at the littlest things. Relax.

  7. Tee says:

    ah dont let the crybabies stop you. Keep writing and write in the style that you enjoy!

    And to all you crybabies — get lost and read something else if you dont appreciate the mans words – go read someone elses and stop crying about it. Its a free world and hes free to express as he wishes….

    (or as I would normally say: Fuck Off…)

  8. Well, now that the ‘stick up the butt hour’ is over we knucklehaids kin enjoy us some nano-whoozitz dancin around.

    Hell, I’m just waitin for the first nano-powered hoochie doll… I might never leave home again.


  9. FRED says:

    Stick to pictures, they are worth more than a 1000 words these days (a video would have been useful).

  10. sikanrong says:

    seriously, stfu, flamers. I’m sure you can find a crispy clean writeup of this stuff somewhere ELSE. i prefer the ‘jive’ version.

  11. Ole Juul says:

    Those of us with the literary ability or interest to understand this style may, or may not, enjoy this, but it is perfectly acceptable as far as I’m concerned. However, like all writing, it depends on the intended audience… and whether you want to communicate with them or not. I do sympathise with those who are not American or skilled in English literature as they will most certainly have a difficult time with this article but it just may not be aimed at them. Not eveything is. If it is just a matter of getting the information, there will certainly be other sources.

  12. "That" Keith says:

    Also, usually we punctuate “y’all” like so, speaking *as* a Southern boy. But 10 points for creativity…

    Don’t feel too bad, apparently even Twain had difficulty rendering Southern well in written English.

  13. […] our chairs was the interpretation of the effect – if you could call it an interpretation – on the physics arXiv blog – in a southern […]

  14. Toni D. says:

    This is the most hilarious physics article.

    We just had to do our own (mostly English) interpretation.

  15. Speedy says:

    Y’all must not of grown up where I grew up. Makes perfect sense to me.
    So this thing is like a quantum tunneling driven mechanical oscillator…small distances, small mass,…geez, what frequency does this mass oscillate at?