November is for Nano

Discovery Place Science

Nanotechn Molecule

Imagine a world where the laws of physics work differently. Gravity can be ignored, magnets can be liquid, and glass looks and feels like a cloud. This world is not in science fiction books or movie, but its already all around you. Can't see it? That's because its NANO-sized, and it's a BIG deal!

At this small scale, physics works differently.

Think small. Now think smaller. Still not small enough! Nanotechnology works at the scale of molecules, structures from nature or man-made sometimes only an atom thick. The width of a human hair is 10,000 times bigger. If one second was one nanometer, than one meter would be 9 years.

At this small scale, physics works differently. And humans are learning to harness this nanotech to build and make things better for us all. Nanoparticles of titanium protect you skin from UV, Aerogel glass is making better windows, and silver nanothreads are being developed to eliminate cancer in the body. Are you wearing waterproof clothing that beads up the water? That's nanoparticles at work!

Despite its potential, there's more we don't know. Scientists are still perfecting techniques to create and test these teeny tiny devices, so who knows what discoveries will be made in the short future. It seems that nanoparticles will make better solar panels to create energy independence, can be used to detect illnesses before symptoms appear, and maybe even make the best and cheapest water filters to give the world clean water.

While it's too small to see, you can come explore the world of nano with hands on activities and demonstrations in the Explore More Stuff lab at Discovery Place Science now through the end of December.

Small is the new big!

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