Nano is an interactive exhibition that engages family audiences in nanoscale science, engineering, and technology. Hands-on exhibits present the basics of nanoscience and engineering, introduce some real world applications, and explore the societal and ethical implications of this new technology.
“Nanotube Balloons” is a cart activity that introduces visitors to the structure and properties of carbon nanotubes. Visitors learn how the carbon atoms are arranged in a carbon nanotube, and that nanotubes are extremely strong and have interesting electrical properties. During the program, visitors help build a model of a carbon nanotube---out of balloons!
This scanning electron microscope image shows nanotube yarn fibers drawn from a "nanotube forest."
Nanometer and micron-sized yarn or fibers drawn from multiwalled carbon nanotubes can have tensile strengths comparable to or exceeding those of spider silk. Replacing metal wires in electronic textiles with these nanotube yarns could lead to important new functionalities, such as the ability to actuate (as an artificial muscle) and to store energy (as a fiber super-capacitor or battery).
Nanoscale fibers drawn from multiwalled carbon nanotubes have strengths comparable to spider silk. Replacing metal wires in electronic textiles with these super-strong yarns could lead to important new functionalities, such as the ability to actuate (as an artificial muscle) and to store energy (as a fiber super-capacitor or battery).
• SIZE: The yarn's diameter is about 1 µm. The nanotubes from which it is being drawn are each about 10 nm in diameter.
• IMAGING TOOL: Scanning electron microscope
"Exploring Nano & Society - Space Elevator" is a open-ended conversational experience in which visitors imagine and draw what a space elevator might look like, what support systems would surround it, and what other technologies it might enable. Conversation around the space elevator lead visitors to explore how technologies and society influence each other and how people’s values shape the ways nanotechnologies are developed and adopted.
“Cleaning Our Water with Nanotechnology” is a public presentation about our drinking water and how we can make contaminated water safe to drink using a variety of technologies – including 3 new nanotechnologies for water purification. During the presentation, audiences consider the following questions: Which contaminants do we have in our water that makes it unsafe to drink? How do we typically purify our water – and what are the shortcomings/limitations of those technologies?