A team of scientists are gearing up to have the worlds first, nearly invisible race with “nano-cars”.  Physics researchers will have a contest through an atomic obstacle course driven by the nano-cars.

The cars can only be seen through a super-powerful scanning microscope. The race will take place in a laboratory of the French materials science research center known as CEMES in Toulouse this fall.

The reason for the race is to further the field of nanotechnology and to possibly solve some pressing issues in the nano-scale manufacturing world.

The nano-cars are invisible to the human eye, despite their size the cars are being crafted and tested in academic labs in Germany, France, Japan and The United States ad a joint U.S. Austria team.

With the way things are going, scientists are going to need ot figure out how to build smaller motors, nano-scale small.

Christian Joachim, a physics researcher at CEMES and the nano-car director said “the nanocar race is really for fun, plus there are some delicate problems we have to solve.”

nanocar race

Joachim explained that the racetrack is actually a gold-covered chip left at a frigid 5 Kelvin, or -450 degrees farenheit for several hours at a time.

“The first fantastic thing is to learn hwo to control, by design and by chemistry, how the energy flows inside the molecule and how to use this energy,” Joachim said.

Nanomotors can have all sorts of futuristic applications like — exploring the human body, targeted drug therapy, killing cancer cells one by one.

The short-term goal is to control the flow of information discreetly by building a powerful electronic circuit.

The cars are powered by streams of electrons, and the scientists will use a scanning tunneling electron microscope to see their progress during the race.

A Bobcat wagon is being built by the team at Ohio University for the big event said Saw Hla, professor of physics.

The German team is using a windmill design, while the Japanese group will use a car with tiny paddles said Discovery news.

During the nano-car race, the nano-cars will be photographed to gauge their progress.

The winning team gets dinner at the finest restaurant in Toulouse, the two-Michelin-star restaurant L’Amphitryon.

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