Unexpected Properties

This exhibit demonstrates how materials at the nanoscale can have unexpected properties. The tabletop interactive, Quantum Dots, focuses on the property of color and how a material’s color may change when brought down to the nanoscale. Visitors alter the size of a magnified quantum dot and watch the light that it emits shift from red to blue as it shrinks to a fraction of a nanometer. The copy panel and side monitors explain how unexpected properties are being used in real-world applications of quantum dots and nanoparticles, from medical imaging to consumer goods.

At the Nanoscale

At the Nanoscale is a static component that aims to show just how super small one billionth of a meter, or one nanometer, really is. A Billion Beads is an activity where visitors inspect tubes that hold quantities of one thousand tiny beads, one million beads, and one billion beads. To the naked eye, the tube containing one thousand beads appears nearly empty. Visitors see that the next tube, partially filled, contains one million beads. Finally, to compare, a four-foot tall container nearly full contains approximately one billion beads.

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