Empress of the Universe

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Nano Technology

Long ago when I was in high school we learned that an atom was the smallest form of matter. Things have changed. Now we have the nano. No, not the I-pod mini, but the actual unit of measurement. How small is a nanometer? According to the current issue of National Geographic:

* "one human hair is about 80,000 nanometers wide
* the nail on your little finger is about ten million nanometers across
* one nanometer is to an inch what one inch is to 400 miles
* Shaquille O'Neal is 2,160,000,000 nanometers tall
* the head of a pin is one million nanometers wide
* a five dollar bill is 100,000 nanometers thick"

I find it awesome to comprehend the world in such infinitesimal quantities.

The US government invested one BILLION dollars in nanotechnology research last year alone -- more than they ever invested in the human genome project.

On a more simplistic note, it's also an awesome accomplishment for mankind that we can transplant a human heart.

So why can't we make a nail polish that doesn't smudge?

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