NanoWhat? Totally tiny technology!

   
   
28 Jan 2010 18:05:29.883

The iPod Nano is a household name, and the Tata Nano - the world's least expensive production car - is set to become one. But marketing buzzwords aside, what does the term 'nano' actually mean?

The 2008 East Midlands Nanotechnology Roadshow will be travelling around the region between April and June to explain just that. Featuring academics, research students and experts from universities across the region, the event will illustrate how this tiny technology, so small that you need powerful microscopes just to see it, has such a huge impact on our everyday lives.

Interactive displays, games and videos will show how nanotechnology is used in sports, clothing, electronics, motoring, engineering, medicines and forensics. Experts will be on hand to answer your questions on how this tiny science affects our lives. So if you want to know how nanotechnology can help your golf balls fly straighter or how geckos stick to the ceiling by their adhesive 'nano' feet, here's your chance to find out.

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The iPod Nano is a household name, and the Tata Nano - the world's least expensive production car - is set to become one. But marketing buzzwords aside, what does the term 'nano' actually mean?

The 2008 East Midlands Nanotechnology Roadshow will be travelling around the region between April and June to explain just that. Featuring academics, research students and experts from universities across the region, the event will illustrate how this tiny technology, so small that you need powerful microscopes just to see it, has such a huge impact on our everyday lives.

Interactive displays, games and videos will show how nanotechnology is used in sports, clothing, electronics, motoring, engineering, medicines and forensics. Experts will be on hand to answer your questions on how this tiny science affects our lives. So if you want to know how nanotechnology can help your golf balls fly straighter or how geckos stick to the ceiling by their adhesive 'nano' feet, here's your chance to find out.

Around the world this new technology is beginning to have an enormous impact on how people live their lives.

Professor Clive Roberts
School of Pharmacy

This free event aims to boost public interest in nanotechnology by applying it to everyday life. Visitors will be able to:

  • Catch that molecule - Play on the super-sized bagatelle to catch a molecule.
  • Drive a Lotus - Feel the effects at the wheel of a racing car in this fun challenge.
  • Spy tiny technology - Use microscopes attached to computer screens to examine tiny 'nano' components in detail.
  • Meet NanoMan - This contortionist can squeeze himself into tiny spaces, just like the molecules and forces essential to nanoscience.
  • Play nano computer games - Basic concepts in nanotechnology can be absorbed and understood while playing these games.
  • Win an iPod Nano by entering the nano quiz - Use the magnifying glass provided to read the 'nano'-sized questions dotted around the exhibition and win an iPod Nano.
  • Watch the nano films - Based around the themes nano in nature, nano gadgets, nano on the go, nano lifestyle, the nano hospital and nano in forensics, these short films explain how nanotechnology impacts on our lives and how it will affect us in the future. The facts and the fiction of nanoscience is also explored, looking at the myths that have arisen around the concepts of self-replicating nanobots and 'grey goo', and separating reality from science fiction.

Clive Roberts, Professor of Pharmaceutical Nanotechnology at The University of Nottingham, will be on hand at the roadshow to explain how this tiny science can help us to improve developments in healthcare, transport, lifestyle, electronics and manufacturing. 

Professor Roberts said: "The roadshow will be a great opportunity to further raise the public profile of nanotechnology in the East Midlands. Around the world this new technology is beginning to have an enormous impact on how people live their lives and interact with the environment and we need our region to be at the forefront of these developments."

The 2008 East Midlands Nanotechnology Roadshow is an excellent example of partnership working, and brings together nanotechnology knowledge and expertise from around the region. Organised by The University of Nottingham and funded by the East Midlands Development Agency (emda), the East Midlands Nanotechnology Roadshow is supported by the region's eight universities and local authorities. The eight East Midlands universities (The University of Nottingham, Nottingham Trent University, Leicester University, De Montfort University, Loughborough University, Derby University, Lincoln University and The University of Northampton) are working in partnership by participating in the specifically commissioned 'nano' films, staffing the event with academics and student ambassadors, and supplying interactive nanotechnology displays.

Professor David Greenaway, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research and Knowledge Transfer at The University of Nottingham, said: "The nanotechnology roadshow demonstrates clearly the East Midlands' strength in science in general and nanotechnology in particular. It is an excellent example of effective and productive partnership between emda and the region's universities.

"For our part, The University of Nottingham is proud to be at the forefront in the delivery of this roadshow of events, which will help raise public awareness of an area which is changing our lives."

The roadshow follows on from last year's successful 'Nano in Nottingham' event, which saw more than 5,000 people visit the event in Market Square over two-and-a-half days.

This year the roadshow will visit:

  • Market Square, Nottingham, Friday 11 to Sunday 13 April
  • Humberstone Gate, Leicester, Thursday 17 to Saturday 19 April
  • Granby Street car park, Loughborough, Thursday 15 to Saturday 17 May
  • Market Place, Derby, Thursday 12 to Saturday 14 June
  • The Lincolnshire Show, Lincoln, Wednesday 18 to Thursday 19 June

Andrew Morgan, Skills and Communities Director at emda said: "As part of the iFestival and funded through emda's £6 million STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Maths) initiative, the Nano roadshows will be interactive, inspirational and engaging. It's terrific that so many partners are working together to help more people in the East Midlands discover how exciting the practical application of science can be.

"We're delighted to support such an imaginative programme as part of our vision for a flourishing region."

Story credits

 Credits
 

Tara De Cozar

Tara De Cozar - Internal Communications Manager

Email: tara.decozar@nottingham.ac.uk Phone: +44 (0)115 846 8560 Location: University Park

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