A big part of today’s technology and scientific research is done on a microscopic level, manipulating very small objects or particles like atoms, molecules, etc. So, basically nanotechnology is engineering, technology or science done at nano-scale. Nano-scale ranges from 1 to 100 nano-meters and nano-meter is one billionth of a meter, so practically anything that we make manipulating objects sized from slightly less than one nano-meters up to a hundred nano-meters counts as nanotechnology. The word “nano” is of Greek origin and means something small. To get the idea how small it is, one ordinary sheet of paper from your notebook is about 100,000 nano-meters thick.
It all began when a renowned physicist Richard Feynman came to the idea what it would be like if scientists could manipulate and control separate molecules, atoms or other extremely small objects. He shared it with the world in his lecture named “There’s Plenty of Room at the Bottom” in the year of 1959 at the California Institute of Technology where the meeting of American Physical Society was held.
The lecture went rather unnoticed, until the year of 1981 when scientists designed the microscope that gives us a sneak-peak into the world of atoms. More precisely, the scanning tunneling microscope enables us to “see” individual atoms. That gave rise to nanotechnology, a term introduced in 1974 by professor of the Tokyo University of Science – Norio Taniguchi.
Today nanotechnology is practically everywhere. Its significance is obvious in so many areas of industry, medicine, biology, computer science, every-day life and it won’t be long before the stuff we could only dream of will become reality. Thanks to nanotechnology, already now the stuff we know from Sci-Fi movies are becoming real. Scientists are now working on The Invisibility Cloak, and no, it´s not a Harry Potter world, this will soon be reality. They are making sheets whose fiber and nano-tube structure causes the light to bend which makes us “disappear”. Now, imagine wearing an elegant suit which has one incredible characteristic – it’s bulletproof! Thanks to nanotechnology and carbon nano-tubes, this amazing invention is now reality.
With nanotechnology, anything is possible, the advances scientists make in all fields change the world as we know it and make the future brighter than ever.