Roland Piquepaille writes "Researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have devised the world?s most precise ruler, able to draw parallel lines separated by only a few hundred nanometers with a precision of under a nanometer. This has the potential to have a great influence on fields such as computer chips manufacturing as well as space physics. And, as says the MIT, this is a promising line of work. "The Nanoruler is 10 to 1,000 times faster and more precise than other methods for patterning parallel lines and spaces (known collectively as gratings) across large surfaces more than 12 inches in diameter. Such large surfaces are key to a number of applications involving gratings, such as larger wafers for the production of computer chips and higher-resolution space telescopes." This summary contains more details and references."