Have you ever ask google “what is a nanotechnology”? I did (in Czech language) and I was really disappointed! Only two relevant articles were found and yet they were too complicated. So! I have decided to write a guide for you!
Because i really do like nanotechnology and because I know how few people really understand what is going on, I have decided to write this article – in three minutes, you will be an expert at nanotechnology!
WHAT NANOTECHNOLOGY IS
Let’s divide the word nanotechnology to “nano” and “technology”. I assume you can imagine what technology is, so let’s focus on nano. It is a prefix – the same as micro, kilo, mega, giga. It is 0,000000001 of a meter exactly. One billionth of a meter = one nanometer.
There exist a lot of definitions out there and the common one says: nanotechnology is when someone works with something in scale of 1-100 nanometers and some new, unique and useful technology will be developed. Just like playing with LEGO – you only switch to atoms and molecules.
The great thing about the world of nanotechnology is that a gravitation stops being the most important power. Every single particle in nanoscale changes its properties with a slightest change of shape and size.
HOW SMALL THE NANO IS IN REAL
Let’s be fair – you will never see something in nanoscale in home condition. No magnifier will help you, even your super duper professional hobby microscopy is useless. Try it another way – take a piece of paper and look at it from a side. It is quite i thin think, you would say, but it still is thick as 100 000 nm. Everything in nanoscale is at least 1000x smaller than a thickness of sheet of a paper.
OK, I UNDERSTAND. BUT WHAT IS IT FOR?
As the laureate of Nobel Prize Horst Stormer says:
“Nanotechnology given us the tool… to play with the smallest toys of nature – atoms and molecules. Everything is build with it… a possibility of creating of a new things seems to be infinite.”
Nano is a revolution. We can improve everything that we can produce today. And! It creates possibilities to produce infinite number of new materials, products and devices. The thing, that we can manipulate the atoms, means end of the game. We can not go further, at least for now. This is the reason why the whole world is trying to get the most out of the nano.
Exist a wide range of nano products already, I made a list of the most interest Czech ones for you. Ultra revolutionary is an invent of graphene – ultra thin and ultra strength material, which flew around the world as fast as a speed of light. There are quantum dots also, nano battery for phones which can be charged in less that 12 minutes (there is a prototype which can be charged in seconds actually) and a big load of other applications. From the actual ones – 10-minute ebola test.
IS NANO SAFE?
This is not a fair question. Nano is only a new dimension for manipulation with things. Because of all the scientists, politicians and journalists keeps an eye on this, there is no chance that you will meet some super dangerous nanotechnology. All the commercial nanotechnology products are being continuously tested by a variety of testing institutes and it is proven that in several cases they are way more safer than non-nano alternatives. You can read about safety of Czech nanotechnology products here.
Nanotechnology is no boring science. Of course it is extremely difficult to understand how it works, but we care about the results, not the research, don’t we? 🙂 Who will be such a fool to refuse a gifted invisible cloak, a t-shirt that charges your phone or a tennis rocket, with which you could easily beat even Roger Federer?