Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Nanotechnology in Adolescence

The nanotechnology sessions from the recent American Chemical Society meeting have been made available for free on this website:

In particular, I'm listening to the talk by George Whitesides, one of my favorite scientists, titled "Nanotechnology in Adolescence." If you want a good 40-minute talk about what "nanotechnology" actually means, and what it's good for, check out his talk, number 090-1.

Note that the way it's presented is the audio + slides, you never get to see George himself. That tells you what's important to chemists!

PS: About halfway through the talk he mentions something I teach my Capstone students: nanoparticles will glow different colors when illuminated. The first people to take advantage of this fact? Medieval stained-glass artists. They didn't know it, but the techniques they used suspended metal nanoparticles in glass. The fact that these particles were tiny enough, pure enough, and similar enough to make the colors red and yellow was noticed and used. So the church housed the first nanotechnologists.

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