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Facts and myths of nanotechnology

Posted by :samanthakahn

Myths and facts surround us in every way; even Nanotechnology, which is a popular science nowadays, did not escape the belief of human beings. The popular believe about nanotechnology is it is the science of manipulating atoms at nanolevels, whereas the scientist still take it as a myth.

Why myth occurs?

There are probably two reasons which make way for myths to circulate: First is the minimal knowledge and understanding in the field of nanotechnology and the second is generated on purpose. Scientists who are in power and made their point strong with proofs and evidence were successful in fetching bid projects and investments for further investigation. Although some consider this as a fraud attempt to carry on individual projects, whereas some people say the myths have actually helped to popularize the stream of science – Nanoscience.

Father of nanotechnology myth

The most popular and undecided myth is Richard Feynman, physics Nobelist is the founder of nanotechnology. A conference was held to discuss "New Technologies for a Sustainable World” when the speaker Dr. Eric Drexler cited this statement. Feynman dies in the year 1988, before the statement was made in the year 1992 so the statement was left to be confirmed. Dr. Eric Drexler, who is regarded as the prophet of nanotechnology took many ideas from Richard Feynman who said “The principles of physics, as far as I can see, do not speak against the possibility of maneuvering things atom by atom. It is not an attempt to violate any laws; it is something, in principle, that can be done; but in practice, it has not been done because we are too big”.

Nano-machine myths

The concept of nanotechnology was started with the concept of nano machines. The concept is used to make devices at micro level. Such devices popularly called as Microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) are found in today’s everyday product. Examples of such product are laser and inkjet printers, pacemakers, joystick consoles, etc. Some devices are inserted inside gears, cylinders, valves etc, which can be seen only under a microscope. Nano devices are said to be more efficient being smaller in size, but it is observed that smaller size often doesn’t work efficiently. The proportion of the surface region to volume for nano-items is much higher than this proportion of smaller scale objects, and the bigger the surface, the more prominent the friction. Nano objects can harm any mechanical device by getting attached to each other, and moreover extra expenses have to be borne in order to move the nano objects from one place to another. There are a number of molecular devices present in nature, which is beyond our understanding and it would take years of studies and research to learn their functioning.

Non waste technology myth

People really think that nanotechnology is a very clean technology with no waste at all. A person unaware of how physics and chemistry work has no idea about how the chemicals are used in atomic levels. The conventional technologies use a lot of natural resources like oil, gas which is invisible to our naked eyes. Hence the myth about nanotechnology being a clean technology is slightly wrong. Some rare gas is only able to exist in a vacuum, to manipulate them, advanced machines and technologies are used which is too complicated. The use of such complex devices is not completely safe for the environment. One has to conduct any manipulation under secure condition such a clean room, temperature control, and well-constructed laboratories. Although new technologies are likely to be discovered which will cause less harm to the environment.

Tag(s) : nanotechnology fact or myth, nanotechnology facts, Facts on Nanotechnology,    

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