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David Cox, a scientist in the Quantum Detection group at the National Physical Laboratory in the UK, is an expert in nanofabrication techniques. Recently, using the tools of his trade and a bit of humor, he has created his latest masterpiece: the world's smallest snowman, which measures just 0.01 mm across.
Cox created the snowman "by hand" using a system for manipulating nanoparticles. Rather than being made out of snow, the figure's head and body consist of two tiny beads that are normally used to calibrate electron microscope lenses. Cox welded the beads together with a tiny bit of platinum, and then used a focused ion beam to carve the eyes and smile. Lastly, he used an ion beam to deposit a tiny blob of platinum for the nose, which is less than one micrometer wide.