Like (a Grain of) the Sand of the Sea

Posted on by Brooke

Researchers at Haifa Institute of Technology have printed the entire Hebrew Bible—with vowel points, I’ve read elsewhere—on a chip that is the size of a single grain of sugar: 0.5 mm sqare. When displayed at 7 meters square, the text’s line-height is a legible 3 mm high.

“[T]he aim of the project is to increase young people's interest in nanoscience and nanotechnology.” This seems to me a creative approach to that goal, a sensitive mix of the sensational and the reverent.

The words are etched onto the gold face of a silicon grain using a focussed ion beam, but I see no word on what sorts of type-face decisions were made. I expect that a printed text was photographed and fed to the machine's computer, but I wonder: is it a serif font like “SBL Hebrew” and therefore similar to the BHS? Sans serif like JPS Tanak and so more like “Lucida Grande”?

Where would you like to see the Hebrew Bible inscribed or painted? I’ll start with my vote: a nice, accessible bit of rock face on the moon, ideally not far from Neil and Buzz's haunts.