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Nanotechnology

The engineering of functional systems at a molecular scale. Nanotechnology is science, engineering, and technology conducted at the nanoscale, which is about 1 to 100 nanometers.

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How it started

The ideas and concepts behind nanoscience and nanotechnology started with a talk entitled “There’s Plenty of Room at the Bottom” by physicist Richard Feynman at an American Physical Society meeting at the California Institute of Technology (CalTech) on December 29, 1959, long before the term nanotechnology was used. In his talk, Feynman described a process in which scientists would be able to manipulate and control individual atoms and molecules. 

Putting it in context

It’s hard to imagine just how small nanotechnology is. One nanometer is a billionth of a meter, or 10-9 of a meter. Here are a few illustrative examples:

  • There are 25,400,000 nanometers in an inch
  • A sheet of newspaper is about 100,000 nanometers thick
  • On a comparative scale, if a marble were a nanometer, then one meter would be the size of the Earth4

Potential Dangers

On the other hand, nanotechnology raises many of the same issues as any new technology, including concerns about the toxicity and environmental impact of nanomaterials, and their potential effects on global economics, as well as speculation about various doomsday scenarios. These concerns have led to a debate among advocacy groups and governments on whether special regulation of nanotechnology is warranted.

Discussion

Articlehttp://www.theguardian.com/science/nanotechnology

-1-What are the uses of nano-technology at the moment?
-2-What might be the uses in the future - advantageous/dangerous?
-3-What might be the uses specifically to computer science?

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