Scientists at Lancaster University and the University of Oxford have created a nano-electronic circuit which vibrates without any external force.
Using a tiny suspended wire, resembling a vibrating guitar string, their experiment shows how a simple nano-device can generate motion directly from an electrical current.
The research has been published in Nature Physics.
To create the device, the researchers took a carbon nanotube, which is wire with a diameter of about 3 nanometres, roughly 100,000 times thinner than a guitar string.
They mounted it on metal supports at each end, and then cooled it to a temperature of 0.02 degrees above absolute zero.
The central part of the wire was free to vibrate, which the researchers could detect by passing a current through it and measuring a change in electrical resistance.