Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors


Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button


DHgate

Home > Press > Nanotechnology’s reach, from swords to solar cells

In a lecture last week, Murray Gibson, founding dean of the College of Science, examined the history of nanoscience — and what studying nature means for its future. Photo by Mary Knox Merrill.
In a lecture last week, Murray Gibson, founding dean of the College of Science, examined the history of nanoscience — and what studying nature means for its future. Photo by Mary Knox Merrill.

Abstract:
Nanotechnology may be an emerging field of study, but it's actually been around for a number of centuries, said Murray Gibson, founding dean of the College of Science at Northeastern University.

Nanotechnology’s reach, from swords to solar cells

Boston, MA | Posted on November 8th, 2011

To make swords, blacksmiths would bang away at iron in the presence of coal dust — thereby infusing tiny carbon particles into the iron to make the sword tips sharp. "They didn't know how it worked, but they were doing nanotechnology thousands of years ago," Gibson told more than 30 faculty and students in Frost Lounge last Tuesday for a lecture presented by PRISM, the Proactive Recruitment in Introductory Science and Mathematics.

PRISM is an initiative that connects Northeastern mathematicians, physicists and biologists with first- and second-year students who want to learn more about math and science research-related co-ops and internships. It was developed by members of Northeastern's math and science faculty and is supported by a five-year, $1.98 million grant from the National Science Foundation.

Nanoscience, Gibson said, is a highly interdisciplinary field best described as a convergence between the physical and life sciences. It revolves around the study of tiny objects. A nanometer, for example, is about the size of 10 atoms, or about how much a fingernail grows in a second.

Much of the science is explained in the arrangement and pattern of atoms on the nanoscale. This arrangement, Gibson explained, is what differentiates diamonds from graphite found in pencils. How atoms organize and bond with each other also determines the brilliant colors in ancient stained-glass windows.

Nanoscience even occurs in the kitchen. Earlier this semester, students in Northeastern's chapter of the American Chemical Society made ice cream using liquid nitrogen. When liquid nitrogen hits the cream and other ingredients, it immediately creates crystals, which Gibson said directly relates to how the ice cream tastes.

"It's a very expensive way to make ice cream, and only a chemist would think that way," he joked.

Nanotechnology, Gibson noted, may lead to a revolution in the way things are built — from lighter, stronger aircraft wings to cheap solar cells that can solve the world's energy problems. He said nanotechnology might be used in health care to help detect viruses and deliver drugs.

The answers, Gibson said, lie in studying how nature and evolution have already built things from the bottom up, and then translating that knowledge into interdisciplinary research, which he said can provide fertile ground for collaboration and discovery.

Northeastern researchers are already exploring the boundaries of nanotechnology through innovative work across numerous research centers and programs, such as the Nanoscale Science and Engineering Center for High-rate Nanomanufacturing, the Electronic Materials Research Institute, the Center for Translational Cancer Nanomedicine and the Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship program in nanomedicine.

Gibson said it's critical for students interested in pursuing research to develop expertise in a particular discipline. This, he said, will provide a strong foundation for designing science experiments and position students to conduct interdisciplinary research, which he called a critical component in the future of nanotechnology.

"The great thing about science is you're always discovering like you did as a child," he said.

####

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Greg St. Martin
617-373-5463

Copyright © Northeastern University

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related News Press

News and information

Revealing the nature of magnetic interactions in manganese oxide: New technique for probing local magnetic interactions confirms 'superexchange' model that explains how the material gets its long-range magnetic order May 25th, 2016

Gigantic ultrafast spin currents: Scientists from TU Wien (Vienna) are proposing a new method for creating extremely strong spin currents. They are essential for spintronics, a technology that could replace today's electronics May 25th, 2016

Diamonds closer to becoming ideal semiconductors: Researchers find new method for doping single crystals of diamond May 25th, 2016

Supercrystals with new architecture can enhance drug synthesis May 24th, 2016

Academic/Education

Graphene: Progress, not quantum leaps May 23rd, 2016

Smithsonian Science Education Center and National Space Society Team Up for Next-Generation Space Education Program "Enterprise In Space" May 11th, 2016

The University of Colorado Boulder, USA, combines Raman spectroscopy and nanoindentation for improved materials characterisation May 9th, 2016

Albertan Science Lab Opens in India May 7th, 2016

Nanomedicine

Supercrystals with new architecture can enhance drug synthesis May 24th, 2016

Nanoscale Trojan horses treat inflammation May 24th, 2016

Programmable materials find strength in molecular repetition May 23rd, 2016

Tiny packages may pack powerful treatment for brain tumors: Nanocarrier provides efficient delivery of chemotherapeutic drug May 23rd, 2016

Materials/Metamaterials

Revealing the nature of magnetic interactions in manganese oxide: New technique for probing local magnetic interactions confirms 'superexchange' model that explains how the material gets its long-range magnetic order May 25th, 2016

Diamonds closer to becoming ideal semiconductors: Researchers find new method for doping single crystals of diamond May 25th, 2016

Light can 'heal' defects in new solar cell materials: Defects in some new electronic materials can be removed by making ions move under illumination May 24th, 2016

Supercrystals with new architecture can enhance drug synthesis May 24th, 2016

Announcements

Revealing the nature of magnetic interactions in manganese oxide: New technique for probing local magnetic interactions confirms 'superexchange' model that explains how the material gets its long-range magnetic order May 25th, 2016

Gigantic ultrafast spin currents: Scientists from TU Wien (Vienna) are proposing a new method for creating extremely strong spin currents. They are essential for spintronics, a technology that could replace today's electronics May 25th, 2016

Diamonds closer to becoming ideal semiconductors: Researchers find new method for doping single crystals of diamond May 25th, 2016

Supercrystals with new architecture can enhance drug synthesis May 24th, 2016

Aerospace/Space

Rice de-icer gains anti-icing properties: Dual-function, graphene-based material good for aircraft, extreme environments May 23rd, 2016

We’ll Leave the Lights On For You: Photonics advances allow us to be seen across the universe, with major implications for the search for extraterrestrial intelligence, says UC Santa Barbara physicist Philip Lubin - See more at: http://www.news.ucsb.edu/2016/016805/we-ll-leave-li May 17th, 2016

Smithsonian Science Education Center and National Space Society Team Up for Next-Generation Space Education Program "Enterprise In Space" May 11th, 2016

Physicists detect the enigmatic spin momentum of light April 26th, 2016

Solar/Photovoltaic

Light can 'heal' defects in new solar cell materials: Defects in some new electronic materials can be removed by making ions move under illumination May 24th, 2016

This 'nanocavity' may improve ultrathin solar panels, video cameras and more May 16th, 2016

New research shows how silver could be the key to gold-standard flexible gadgets: Silver nanowires are an ideal material for current and future flexible touch-screen technologies May 13th, 2016

Solliance realizes first up-scaled Perovskite based PV modules with 10% efficiency: Holst Centre, imec and ECN pave the road to upscaling Perovskite PV modules May 10th, 2016

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE




  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoTech-Transfer
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More











ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project







Car Brands
Buy website traffic