Researchers model nano-sized world--with Legos

You, too, can build scale models of submicroscopic fields!

In the world of submicroscopic physics, things happen that really can't be observed. So when scientists at Johns Hopkins University need to see an example of interactions between various nanoparticles, they simply make blown-up versions of what they're studying--with Legos.

In the video above, Manuel Balvin demonstrates how different sized ball bearings move differently through a gravity-driven field of pegs. The same reaction can be assumed to work at the nano level, meaning the research can be done more practically.

And these aren't special science Legos, these are the same off-the-shelf toys that we've all loved for years . I'm imagining if we gave them a set of Robotix they could invent practical time travel.

About the author

    With more than 15 years experience testing hardware (and being obsessed with it), Crave freelance writer Matt Hickey can tell the good gadgets from the great. He also has a keen eye for future technology trends. Matt has blogged for publications including TechCrunch, CrunchGear, and most recently, Gizmodo. Matt is a member of the CNET Blog Network and is not an employee of CBS Interactive. E-mail Matt.


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