What is Nanotechnology and How Can We Use It?

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  2. March 24, 2014 4:26 am

What is Nanotechnology and How Can We Use It?

Nanotechnology is defined as working with matter at a molecular or atomic level. To accomplish this, matter is worked with on a scale that is so small it cannot be seen with a regular microscope. Basically, it means working with the smallest pieces of matter that could be manipulated.

While the word has gotten quite popular in the last decade, nanotechnology isn’t something completely new. For the past 50 years or so, scientists have been conducting research and working with matter at the molecular level. There are also several misconceptions about it. One of the most common ones is that nanotechnology is all about making things smaller. We’ve already achieved ways to miniaturize various items, most notably chips that are used in computers and electronics. What we want to do is to have the ability to build things from the ground up, by starting with the smallest building blocks available.

Creating materials that have amazing properties is one area where we invest a lot of time and effort. Imagine a material that is thousands of times stronger than steel but has only a fraction of its weight. Such materials could be used in space exploration, in military applications, or simply to replace some materials that we currently use in building insulation.

Of course, medicine is also an area where such science could be applied. Despite recent advances, we are still unable to fully cure certain diseases, such as cancer. If we can figure out how to effectively manipulate molecules, we could create new types of medicines that could be used to destroy cancer cells, or stop viruses from replicating inside the human body.


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