back to article Chinese boffins show off unbelievably tight ring

Chinese nanojewellery experts have managed to fashion an exceptionally tiny ring out of just 36 atoms of gold. Incredibly minuscule as the golden nano-ring is, however, it is in fact the world's largest of its type. Brainboxes Shu-Yan Yu, Yi-Zhi Li, and Vivian Wing-Wah Yam - working at universities in Beijing, Nanjing and Hong …


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  1. Anonymous Coward

    Oh! err missus

    Enough said.

    Mine is the one with KY in the pocket, ta.

  2. Ferry Boat


    Errr..... if it were to be a tripod for an unfeasibly nano-dwarfish vase then it would have to have 3 legs. Tri being 3 and so on. What you got yourself there is a hexpod for an unfeasibly nano-dwarfish vase.

  3. paul brain

    I haven't laughed so hard.........

    ...... Since Vista.

  4. Steven Cuthbertson

    @ Ferryboat

    "Apparently the sticky-out atoms (see pic) alternate between skewing up and down with respect to the plane of the ring itself"

  5. Ferry Boat


    Sorry, I meant hexapod. P is not a vowel. Maybe I need to revisit my old schoolmaster for a spot of Greek.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I don't see

    the brown star

  7. Darren Poulson

    @Ferry Boat

    It says the legs alternate up/down, so there would be three pointing down (the legs) and three pointing up (to hold the vase) - therefore it is a vase holder!

  8. Simon Harris Silver badge

    @Ferry Boat.

    Errm.. the text says that the sticky out bits are alternately skewed above and below the plane of the ring, so there would only be three legs in contact with the ground if you were to rest your unfeasibly small vase on the ring.

  9. TeeCee Gold badge
    Gates Horns

    It's not a dwarvish vase stand!

    It's been produced as a "Prince Albert" for Bill Gates!

  10. Ferry Boat


    I know it says that, it _looks_ like they all point down though.

  11. Louis Cowan


    From memory, when the uppy-downy bits at the edge occur round a benzene ring, it's referred to as a chair - this has a similar shape.

    I'll bet the creators of this didn't count on the rest of the world comparing their creation to furniture and jewellery :)

  12. bluesxman

    cheap gold ring?

    Presumably they'll be knocking these out at Elizabeth Duke before we know it ... Now if they could just attach a nano-sovereign the chav's would be all over this shit for their youngens (relatively speaking) ... zygotic bling anyone?

  13. Nathan Barrow

    Could be worse...

    This is much more amusing chemistry paper:

    For future reference, it's easier to link to papers using their Digital Object Identifier (DOI) since that will remain, even if the URL changes. The DOI for this gold ring paper is

  14. Steven


    I think you mean cyclohexane, which has chair and boat conformations; benzene is planar.

  15. Andy Taylor


    Elizabeth Duke won't carry these, they're pure gold.

  16. Cliff

    This is why I love The Reg

    1) keeps me scientifically aware

    2) childish innuendo

    3) informed comments debate in which I learn that you can't iron cyclohexane flat, unlike benzene

    4) plus a link to another scientific paper with the best molecular diagram I've seen

    Where would we be without The Reg? A daily hybrid of Viz, Private Eye, New Scientist with a tasty dash of NTK (may it rest in peace) delivered to my very own desktop.

  17. zedee

    @Nathan Barrow - naughty paper

    First thing I spotted was the source organisation of the paper - Instituto de Quím (ica).


    Mine's the parka with my name sewn in the collar.

  18. Anonymous Coward


    It is even funnier when you learn that one of these universities is located in a city which is famed to have a lot of gay people in there. A friend pointed to me that they probably came with the round molecule and asked the colleagues in the other university to get a nice pointy one to fit inside it.

    It is almost as fun and distracting as the recent Ronaldo fracas.

  19. Chris


    Why is this filed under physics? Surely it's chemistry (and stop calling me Shirley).


  20. Dr Patrick J R Harkin

    "this is still one of the cheapest gold rings to be had"

    I suspect if you rang up and asked them to make you one, the price would be much more than anything is a high street jewellers!

  21. Tim99 Silver badge



    Benzene rings are planar (flat) because their electrons can be thought of as having a hybridization pi cloud. Six member saturated carbon rings like cyclohexanes, or nitrogen/carbon heterocyclic rings like RDX (Semtex), have chair and/or boat structures. The boat has both ends pointing up, the chair has one end pointing up with the other end down. The same molecule can alternate between the two structures. This is known as chair-boat hybridization.

    Mine's the lab coat with the acid burns down the front.

  22. Big Al

    Practical application

    Small ring obviously for the little woman at home. Bless.

  23. Dave
    Thumb Up

    I, for one, welcome...

    the introduction of "univalent nanoscale wedding accoutrements" into our lifestyles (laughed so hard and loud I upset some colleagues still actually doing work at this time of the week)

  24. Louis Cowan


    To all those who corrected me - thanks for reminding me of the nightmare that was chemistry!

  25. Ishkandar

    @Louis Cowan

    If you stop f**king about with that bunsen burner, maybe you'd learn something about highly inflammable hydrocarbons !! Chemistry is great fun, especially when you can blow something up once in a while (hopefully by design) !!

    Mine's the very scorched, full-body, asbestos-kevlar armoured suit, thanks

  26. jeanl

    waste of funding and scientic research resources

    waste of funding create something useless.

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