City student’s spark of genius creates tiny torch

A STUDENT has created his very own Olympic Torch – 100,000 times smaller than the original.

Peter Kremer, from Heriot-Watt University, accidentally reproduced the torch on the nanoscale while carrying out research into light particles. The 28-year-old PhD student came up with the nano-torch a month ago while experimenting with cones to channel the light down.

The tiny torch measures nine micrometres in length and tapers down from a diameter of 1600 nanometres at the top to 80 nanometres at the base.

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A nanometre is one-billionth of a metre – about a hundred-thousandth the width of a human hair.

Mr Keemer, who is originally from Germany, wanted to give the microscopic torches to friends as presents to mark the Olympics, but they are invisible to the naked eye.

He said: “It’s not often that quantum engineering throws up recognisable objects and shapes.”