VIDEO: What's nanotechnology? Kristin Persson explains at 4 different levels
Director of Berkeley Lab's Molecular Foundry and Materials Project makes big impact on students in this video celebrating National Nanotechnology Day
Happy National Nanotechnology Day!
Nanotechnology is any technology that's engineered at the nanoscale, referring to 100 nanometers or less. That's more than 1,000 times smaller than the width of a human hair! From the intricate components of our electronic devices to the targeted delivery of anti-cancer drugs, nanotechnology provides a powerful toolbox that is already changing the world.
Every year, National Nanotechnology Day is celebrated by scientists and educators on Oct. 9. That's because a nanometer is one-billionth of a meter, or 10-9 meters. And here at Berkeley Lab's nanoscience center, the Molecular Foundry, every Oct. 9 (10-9) is an extra opportunity to celebrate all things "nano."
As a fun experiment for this year's festivities, Molecular Foundry Director Kristin Persson accepted a challenge to explain nanoscale engineering at four different levels. She virtually met with four science enthusiasts - a kindergartner, a middle schooler, a high school senior, and a graduate student - to talk about nanoscience.
Persson used her experience as a professor of materials science and engineering, a mentor to dozens of Ph.D. students, a recognized expert in quantum and nanoscale science, and a parent of three kids to tailor the discussion of atomic-scale engineering to each person's background. Watch the video to see how she did!
By Clarissa Bhargava
The video was produced by Marilyn Sargent, multimedia producer in Berkeley Lab's Strategic Communications department.
The Molecular Foundry is a DOE Office of Science user facility located at Berkeley Lab.
Founded in 1931 on the belief that the biggest scientific challenges are best addressed by teams, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and its scientists have been recognized with 14 Nobel Prizes. Today, Berkeley Lab researchers develop sustainable energy and environmental solutions, create useful new materials, advance the frontiers of computing, and probe the mysteries of life, matter, and the universe. Scientists from around the world rely on the Lab's facilities for their own discovery science. Berkeley Lab is a multiprogram national laboratory, managed by the University of California for the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Science.
DOE's Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States, and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, please visit energy.gov/science.