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Sharp's Molecular Beam Epitaxy machine births components in its space-like womb (video)

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A machine that builds other machines? Sounds like robot apocalypse time -- except it's not. This component-building, space-mimicking chamber of liquid nitrogen-cooled sterility gives birth to LEDs, not that kid from A.I. Housed in Sharp's Oxford Laboratory, the Molecular Beam Epitaxy machine moves atoms "almost individually...to build the basis of high tech electronics." Through the use of magnetic poles on the contraption's exterior (kind of like in foosball), researchers can virtually manipulate substrates and elements, allowing for precise control and untainted crystal growth. While this MBE isn't exactly new tech -- larger commercial-grade versions already exist -- it is noteworthy for its innovative petri-vacuum abilities. After all, progress has to start somewhere. Click past the break for the ominously toned video explanation.



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