Category: NanoTechnology

Nano Technology – a real Game Changer

Welcome to the World of Nanotechnology! – Tiny technology promises big rewards. You may be using it already and not even realize it.

A tsunami is unnoticeable in the open ocean—a long, low wave whose power becomes clear only when it reaches shore and breaks. Technological revolutions travel with the same stealth. Spotting the wave while it’s still crossing the ocean is tricky, which explains why so few of us are aware of the one that’s approaching. Nanotechnology has been around for two decades, but the first wave of applications is only now beginning to break. As it does, it will make the computer revolution look like small change. It will affect everything; from the batteries we use to the pants we wear to the way we treat cancer.

The main thing to know about nanotechnology is that it’s small. Really small. Nano, a prefix that means “dwarf” in Greek, is shorthand for nanometer, one-billionth of a meter: a distance so minute that comparing it to anything in the regular world is a bit of a joke. This comma, for instance, spans about half a million nanometers. To put it another way, a nanometer is the amount a man’s beard grows in the time it takes him to lift a razor to his face.

Nanotechnology matters because familiar materials begin to develop odd properties when they’re nanosize. Tear a piece of aluminum foil into tiny strips, and it will still behave like aluminum—even after the strips have become so small that you need a microscope to see them. But keep chopping them smaller, and at some point—20 to 30 nanometers, in this case—the pieces can explode. Not all nanosize materials change properties so usefully (there’s talk of adding nano aluminum to rocket fuel), but the fact that some do is a boon. With them, scientists can engineer a cornucopia of exotic new materials, such as plastic that conducts electricity and coatings that prevent iron from rusting. It’s like you shrink a cat and keep shrinking it, and then at some point, all at once, it turns into a dog.

Substances behave magically at the nanoscale because that’s where the essential properties of matter are determined. Arrange calcium carbonate molecules in a sawtooth pattern, for instance, and you get fragile, crumbly chalk. Stack the same molecules like bricks, and they help form the layers of the tough, iridescent shell of an abalone. They will penetrate a cell like if it was water.

The future is here among us! Some will benefit from it, others will fall behind.

More information can be found at NANO100.com

The Future is Smaller – Nano-Technology documentary