Week 9_Nanotechnology By Braxton Little

For many, nanotechnology is a very hard concept to grasp. It took me at least an hour to grasp exactly what Thursday’s lecture was about, and the concept referred to as “nanotech.” Being on a research campus, where the California Institute of Nanoscience is located, it seems very necessary that we as students try to understand the basics of this up and coming concept. When I got a chance to sit down and think about it, my mind went in many different directions, contrasting to the boundless potential that nanotech has. This video did a pretty good job at explaining the basics of what nanotech consists of, and the reality of how small of particles it deals with.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LFoC-uxRqCg

Also, to understand a real life example of the potential of nanotech, this video about the concept of a phone that is created from these nano-size particles helps a lot.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IX-gTobCJHs

Three things that I would like to talk about after gaining a general knowledge of the subject are: The potential for nanotech to make life easier, the negative affects that may arise from this new culture, and the connection it has to a “third culture” and the ever growing knowledge of this world.
Nanotechnology has the potential to change EVERYTHING. All products can be made smaller, more efficient, and just better overall. I remember when the first ipod came out, and everyone was amazed over the fact that so many songs could by stored on such a small device. That was then, nanotechnology is the future. The storage that is on an ipod is gigantic in terms of the storage capabilities of nanotech. It does not just have positive effects in terms of technology, but also in terms of making the world more energy efficient and safe. Products built using nanotech are must stronger, and can withstand more stress than products we use today. This can make cars, planes, anything that relies on durability more safe and efficient. Also, nanotech can make fuel cells and solar panels that are much more efficient, creating more energy from less material. As one can tell, there are no limits.

Something that isn’t talked as much about dealing with nanotech is the negative effects that it may have on society. The fact that nanotech deals with material on such a small scale, it could have the ability to make almost anything disguisable. In a society where there are many conflicting rules, that could pose a threat to the safety of the public, and countries as a whole. All types of weapons could be developed that would go undetected, until it is too late. This aspect of nanotechnology is very scary, and I strongly believe that more attention should be focused on this fact. Is it worth it in the end? Do we have any way to enforce restrictions on how far nanotech can be taken? Once nanotech is practiced all over the world, it may be too late if it gets in the wrong hands. Another point that I would like to bring about is the many jobs that may be lost due to nanotech. Only a few companies would have the money to create nanotech products. This would put many other companies out of business if they could create an affordable nanotech product. Although this time is very far away, it is still something that we should pay attention towards.
The last aspect of nanotech that I would like to talk about is its connection to the previous weeks of class. Nanotech blends artistic qualities and scientific qualities. From day one, we have been studying the connection of art and science, and the third culture that has developed. I believe that nanotech more than ever is an expression from the scientific and art world, that they are never going to stop progressing, and there will never be a time in which “art” and “science” has reached its potential. Artists implement nanotech in their artwork, an example is shown below. The picture is of small wires that are several billionths of a meter, the wires are grown into flower shapes from scientists changing the temperature and pressure in the experiment. This shows how nanotech appeals to the artists, and scientists.

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