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Day two of the 3rd Bangalore Nano organized by The Department of IT, BT and S&T, Government of Karnataka under the guidance of Vision Group on Nanotechnology, featured a inspirational talk led by Prof. CNR Rao.
Mr. Ashok Kumar Manoli welcomed students from various schools and colleges and familiarized them with Dr. C.N.R.Rao's ongoing efforts in the field of science and nanotechnology. He called nanotechnology as the 3rd tech revolution, after IT and BT.
Addressing the young generation, Dr C.N.R.Rao emphasized on the immense potential of nanotechnology to create, explore and build a better world. Since nanotechnology was a young subject, he felt it was appropriate for young minds to work on it. But he warned children to first build a strong foundation in basic sciences or engineering and later think of working in the field of nanotechnology.
The students were introduced to the world of nanotechnology through a short film titled "Nanoworld" produced by JNCASR (Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research). Tracing the history of nanomaterials to the Roman era, the film showed an image of the Lycurgus Cup. This cup is made of a special type of glass that changes colour when it is held upto light. The cup is opaque green, but when light is shone through it, it turns to a glowing translucent red. This unique property is due to small amounts of gold and silver present in the cup. Other interesting examples of nanotechnology in history included Micheal Faraday's "divided metals" and Damascus Sword made in the eighth century that showed the presence of tin nanowires and nanotubes when studied under an electron microscope. The film next compared nano-objects with objects familiar to the children.
Next, Dr. Shantikumar Nair, Director, Amrita Center for Nanosciences addressed the budding scientists. He said that nanotechnology was a very exciting field and he hoped to communicate this excitement to the young scientists. "There are many brilliant examples of nanotechnology in nature and science must learn to apply the same in the lab", he said. He gave the example of the lotus leaf that doesn't absorb water in-spite of being surrounded by water all the time. He also demonstrated the structure of a butterfly's wing that shows nano-scaffolding. Various applications in nanotechnology have been inspired by these examples in nature. He touched on the scope of nanotechnology in terms of regenerative medicine, tissue engineering, wound healing and various cancer detection and treatment procedures.
Dr. Shantanu Bhattacharya, Professor, Dept. of Organic Chemistry, IISc., in his lecture, compared "nano" to various examples in real life situations, like the thickness of a strand of hair, size of atoms, DNA etc. He also introduced the students to the concept of Quantum dots, properties of fluorescence shown by butterfly wings, why nanomaterials were stronger than steel and more flexible than nylon and the size dependent properties of particles. He recommended various books on nanotechnology and the website www.powerof10.com for the scientists of tomorrow.
Dr. Ajay Sood, Professor, IISc next addressed the gathering. "Graphene - The Great!!" was an apt title to catch the attention of the young minds. He spoke on the isolation of Graphene and its honeycomb structure. Since Graphene has energy in linear momentum, it has tremendous scope for new devices to be manufactured in various fields. He wondered if Graphene could replace Silicon in semi conductors and be the next wonder in the world of science.
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