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Nano Technology

posted Jan 29, 2015, 11:48 PM by
Writing the “Lords Prayer” on the head of a pin was archaic compared to what  the Laureate Richard Feynman visualized. Dividing the area of a pin head by 25,000 , he showed that we still get over 100 atoms. Recording even at the rate of one  bit   per 100 atoms, he showed that, it would be  theoretically possible to inscribe the entire knowledge, that humans have ever acquired , in a single microchip.
Feynman helped to make the atom bomb, sins of that can  be partly pardoned by this prophesy and directing the engineers to ‘Nanotechnology’.

What is Nanotechnology?    

This is often described as the “study of the very  small with  big potential”. Nano  is a prefix
used to denote  10-9 . One nanometre (nm) is 0.000 000 001 meters. Research and technology development of matter at a dimension less than 100 nm, has been termed nanotechnology.
Nano research has progressed in a binary fashion. ‘Top-down’ method and the ‘bottom- up’ method.

1. Top-down method
The approach here is to start with a natural material and go on dividing until you reach the desired molecular level.

2. Bottom-up method.
Here you start with the atoms or molecules and assemble the units to suit the required object.

The beginning

Richard Feynman,  on December 29th 1959 addressed the American physicists at the California Institute of Technology. The theme of the lecture was “There’s plenty of room at the bottom”  He said that not only the 25 volumes of the Encyclopedia Britannica, but all the books in the libraries all over the worlds can be pressed into a few atoms and read by an electron microscope. available at the time. He expected more sensitive microscopes to develop by the year 2000.He requested the inventors among the audience to seek more efficient ways of writing and reading at molecular level.
The modus operandi was  to employ large tools to operate smaller ones and those to work still smaller machinery until you reach the nanometre level.
As an encouragement to achieve the goal, he offered  a prize of $1000. for anyone who could de-magnify a page from a book by 25000 times and another to an electric motor smaller than a mm3  
Just as he expected, for the amazement of many, the two tasks were well accomplished .

Applications and achievements

A crucial achievement of nanotech science is that it has amalgamated all disciplines dealing with matter. Chemistry, Physics, Biology and even the Applied sciences like Medicine and Cosmology have been embedded in nano sciences.  

Scientists who believed they knew the properties of matter and the way matter behaved obeying the views of Newton and Einstein were at a loss to explain the nature mysterious nano-particles. Some coloured substances become colourless, insulators become conductors, an insoluble substance can become soluble,  and a chemically stable material may spontaneously burn.Most of these changes are
due to the increase of surface area of a unit volume,

The discovery of Fullerenes, namely the buckyballs, Carbon nano tubes, and grapheme is changing the way we live in an inconceivable manner. (see Graphene gleams from Graphite)

 “What the computer revolution did for manipulating data, the nanotechnology revolution will do for manipulating matter”