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Rice University nanodragster rolls on carbon buckeyball wheels, lives life .0005 inch at a time

Tim Stevens

Drag racing and nanotech seemingly go together like peanut butter and... very small rocks, but that hasn't stopped a team of researchers at Rice University from creating a microscopic car dubbed a "nanodragster." Its wheels are buckeyballs, the rear composed of 60 carbon atoms each, while its front wheels are made of p-carborane. This gives the car more grip at the back, meaning it'll pop wheelies just like a real dragster -- though only when running on a road paved with gold. Even then it doesn't go very fast, just .0005 inches per hour, meaning for those 1,327,000 days it takes to cover a quarter-mile its driver is free.

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