Adventures on an Ultrasmall Scale

The National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI) defines nanotechnology as “science, engineering, and technology conducted at the nanoscale, which is about 1 to 100 nanometers.”

Wait, the United States has a research and development program dedicated to this tiny field? Yes, we do. The NNI was established in 2000 to assist in the collaboration of new nano sciences and to ensure responsible development.

This small scale science can be applied to all other fields of science, from chemistry to engineering, aiming to study and manipulate molecules and atoms at an individual level. Nanotechnology has only been around for abut 30 years, because without today’s ultraprecision machines and microscopes, we could not see such small particles.

One of the most popular recent nano-inventions is graphene, a crystalline form of carbon one atom layer thick. Learn more about the developments of nanotechnology from Buford Price, Professor of Physics at UC Berkeley, in “Adventures on an Ultrasmall Scale,” as he takes us through nuclear tracks in solids to microbial life in polar ice.

If you like this video, check out the other programs in the Frontiers of Knowledge series!