Invisible Sunblock

NISE Network product
Description: 

"Invisible Sunblock" is a hands-on activity exploring how nano-scale particles are used in mineral sunblocks to increase their transparency. Visitors compare nano and non-nano sunblocks to a visual representation of the effect of particle size on visibility.

Audience: 

Objectives

Big Idea: 
The use of nanoparticles in sunblock is one of the most common applications of nanotechnology, yet most consumers don't know about it due to the lack of regulatory guidelines.
Learning Goals: 
  • Nanoscale particles in sunblock are invisible because they are smaller than the wavelength of visible light.
  • Current research shows that sunblocks containing nanoparticles are generally safe to use on healthy skin.
NISE Net Content Map: 
  • Nanometer-sized things are very small, and often behave differently than larger things do.
  • Nanoscience, nanotechnology, and nanoengineering lead to new knowledge and innovations that weren't possible before.
  • Nanotechnologies—and their costs, utility, risks, and benefits—are closely interconnected with society and with our values.

Credits

Funding: 
Developed for the NISE Network with funding from the National Science Foundation under Award Numbers 0532536 and 0940143. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this product are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Foundation.
Permissions: 

Creative Commons license image Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike

Development Process: 

NISE Network products are developed through an iterative collaborative process that includes scientific review, peer review, and visitor evaluation in accordance with an inclusive audiences approach. Products are designed to be easily edited and adapted for different audiences under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike license. To learn more, visit our Development Process page.