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Questions & Answers

What is a nanometer?

A nanometer is a one-billionth of a meter; 10-9 meters.

1 m = 1 000 000 000 nanometers

1 mm = 1 000 000 nanometers

1 μm = 1 000 nanometers

1 nm = 0.001 μm = 0.000 001 mm = 0.000 000 001 m

What is nanoscience?

Nanoscience is a science at a very small scale: the nanoscale. At the nanoscale, ranging from 0.1 to 100 nanometers (from the atomic radius to the wavelength of far-ultraviolet light), the basic constituents of matter are found, including the most primitive biological structures: the DNA, the ribosome, and the virus. But it is not just the size that matters. The behavior of matter at this scale is very special. The objects that we find at this scale are typically larger than a single atom (we could have a good number of atoms and molecules), yet at the same time they are small enough for their properties to be significantly different from the properties found in the micro and macroscales. Furthermore, physics and chemistry are often no longer distinguishable at this scale and classical disciplines such as physics, chemistry, biology, and materials engineering converge, giving rise to this new discipline: nanoscience.

What is nanotechnology?

Nanotechnology deals with the design and production of new structures by controling their form and size within the nanoscale.

How can we understand the world on a quantic level when this is so different to the laws we intuit in the microscopic level?

The behavior of matter in a quantic level, which is explain by quantum mechanics, is totally different to the behavior of the tipical fenomena we can observe in our daily experience and, therefore, it is very difficult to intuit.

During some lectures at Cornell University (USA) given by the theoretical physicist Richard Feynman in 1964, he stated that "I think that I can safely say that nobody understands quantum mechanics" 1.

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1 Feynman, Richard (1965). The Character of Physical Law. Modern Library.

This question was sent to nanoGUNE in the framework of the 10alamenos9 festival.

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