Scientists have managed to create a nano-electronic circuit that can vibrate and play guitar notes without any external force.
The scientists from the Lancaster University and University of Oxford have used a tiny suspended wire that is positioned much like a guitar string to showcase their experiment that reveals how a simple nano-device can generate motion by itself. Researchers used a carbon nanotube, a wire with a diameter of about 3 nanometers or to put it into a musicians perspective - about 100,000 times thinner than a normal guitar string.
Researchers mounted the nanotube onto metal supports at each end and then cooled it down to 0.02 degrees. Researchers then passed an electric current through the wire and measured its change in electrical resistance. Much like a normal guitar string when its plucked, the nanotube wire vibrated when the electric current passed through it, what was the surprising part was when the researchers stopped forcing the voltage and the wire continued vibrate by itself.
Lead researcher Dr. Edward Laird of Lancaster University, said "It took us a while to work out what was causing the vibrations, but we eventually understood. In such a tiny device, it is important that an electrical current consists of individual electrons. The electrons hop one by one onto the wire, each giving it a small push. Usually these pushes are random, but we realised that when you control the parameters just right, they will synchronise and generate an oscillation."
"The nanotube is far thinner than a guitar string, so it oscillates at much higher frequency-well into the ultrasound range so no human would be able to hear it. However, we can still assign it a note. Its frequency is 231 million hertz, which means it's an A string, pitched 21 octaves above standard tuning."