Fastest rotating man-made object created

A team of researchers at the University of St Andrews has created the world's fastest spinning man-made object.Dr Yoshihiki Arita, Dr Michael Mazilu and Professor Kishan Dholakia of the School of Physics and Astronomy at the University of St Andrews were able to levitate and spin a microscopic sphere, purely using laser light in a vacuum, briefly up to 600 million RPM before it broke apart.This speed is half a million times faster than the spin speed of a domestic washing machine and more than a thousand times faster than a dental drill. The work is published today in the international journal Nature Communications.
Although there is much international research exploring what happens at the boundary between  and , most of this experimental work uses atoms or molecules. The St Andrews team aimed to understand what happened for larger objects containing a million million atoms or more.
To do this they manufactured a microscopic sphere of  only 4 millionths of a metre in diameter. The team then used the miniscule forces of laser light to hold the sphere with the  of light - rather like levitating a beach ball with a jet of water.

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