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Silly question[edit]

The DYK hook is brilliant! "Did you know that the Nanodragster is a nanocar which is 50,000 times thinner than a human hair and has a top speed of 0.014 millimeters per hour?" My first thought was that it would take a long time to get anywhere. My second thought was whether it is possible to compare this speed to that of normal cars by scaling to the size of the cars. In other words, convert the top speeds to "number of car lengths covered per hour". For a normal car, that would be something like 150mph and several thousand car lengths covered in that hour. I wonder how many "car lengths" the Nanodragster would cover in an hour? To work that out, you need to work out how long it is. And how on Earth do you measure the speed of a nanocar anyway? Carcharoth (talk) 00:03, 30 January 2010 (UTC)

The length of Nanodragster is 1.8 nm or 1.8x10-6 mm. For a speed of 0.014 mm/h this gives 7777 "car lengths"/h. The speed comment originates from an interview with an author of the corresponding peer-reviewed article; it is not in the original article and the author doesn't explain how this speed was estimated. My wild guess is it comes from the rotational speed of the wheel molecules which is measured by complex and indirect methods (not by direct observation). Materialscientist (talk) 00:17, 30 January 2010 (UTC)
OK. Thanks! I like the idea of the dragster speeding along a strip of gold, almost like a skater on ice. I wonder how it comes to a stop. Nanoparachutes? :-) Probably temperature-controlled, actually, or it would be stopped at the destination by a change in the surface, like running into treacle. Carcharoth (talk) 00:27, 30 January 2010 (UTC)
If you'd like to scale the nanocar, it would go around 550-600 miles/h. --TitanOne (talk) 16:26, 31 January 2010 (UTC)