Monday, June 4, 2012

Nanotechnology and Us

When you hear the word “nanotechnology,” does science fiction spring to mind? In fact, nanotechnology is an element of our daily lives; it makes our lives easier. Nanotechnology is basically the science of working with matter on an atomic and molecular scale. Scientists can use nanotechnology to create new materials which can be applied and used in several different ways.

The practical side of nanotechnology

As an example, Science Daily ran a feature story about scientists designing a method to use nanotechnology to lessen the amount of friction in car engines and machines. If this technology becomes widespread, it can help extend the lives of machines and engines and enable them to operate more proficiently. According to the Science Daily story, a team of scientists produced tiny polymer particles that were distributed in automobile engine base oils. When tested under conditions that simulated those found in car engines, these tiny particles were found to have an extraordinary capacity to minimize friction.

More efficient motors

Even when dispersed at low concentrations they reduced friction significantly, even more so then the friction additives currently being used in many industries today. How much more do they lessen friction? By about 55 percent more! Nanotechnology is a growing industry so expect more discoveries like this. In fact it is growing so quickly that the United States recently released a national strategy to be certain that environmental, health, and safety research requirements are addressed in the field.

The emerging world of nanotechnology

If you think, then, that nanotechnology is only good for Hollywood special effects blockbusters; just take a close look at your car’s engine. Eventually, nanotechnology may leave you with an engine that uses less gas. That, obviously, can give you a fatter wallet, and you will be able to thank nanotechnology for this.


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