To understand why the nanoscale is different, we need to appreciate just how small it is. One common way to represent the nanoscale visually relies on scale ladders, diagrams that show how objects are related by size. Using existing research on understanding size and scale, the Visualization Laboratory carried out a series of experiments to develop a scale ladder and guidelines for their design and use.
“Nanotube Balloons” is a large display made of balloons that can be used to draw visitors to a program on nanotechnology. Visitors observe how the carbon atoms are arranged in a carbon nanotube. The nanotube balloon model can be pre-constructed by museum staff, or visitors can help to build it. The balloon structure provides an intriguing hook for other programs, like “Forms of Carbon” or the “World of Carbon Nanotubes”.
“Nanotube Models” is a facilitated tabletop program aimed at educating the public about the properties and applications of carbon nanotubes. Visitors will be able to use Molecular Visions model kits to build carbon nanotubes. The models can be started by museum staff and added onto by visitors, or pre-built to be used as a display. The models can also be accompanied by other NISE Net programs that focus on carbon nanotubes to increase the engagement and enhance the models.