Blog 24 July 2015

Quantum Mechanics, Nanotechnology Applications, and Life in the Future

 

At Choosamazing we are constantly looking for the amazing things in life, so this time we decided to write about something remarkable: nanotechnology. If you search online for “what is nanotechnology” you will come across the simple Wikipedia definition: “nanotechnology ("nanotech") is the manipulation of matter on an atomic, molecular, and supramolecular scale.” We used to believe that the material world was a very logical and ordered system. Learning about quantum mechanics in the book Thirty Years that Shook Physics by George Gamow fundamentally transformed the way we think. The behavior of matter and energy in microscopic terms is something absolutely amazing. The atomic world seemed to be completely illogical but opened a new era in our lives.

 

Quantum mechanics has motivated many scientists to experiment with technology and learn about microscopic interactions. It has completely transformed our vision of life and this can have a tremendous impact on our future. The nanotechnology applications are amazing, helpful, and can look like magic (especially if you learn about the possible uses of nanotechnology in medicine).

Something that we believe is amazing is the production of new hybrid nanomaterials, which even with some issues still to be solved, are having a tremendous impact on clinical bio-imaging for the screening of cancer cells. For example, there are nanodiamonds that can feel the presence of magnetic fields from free radicals and understand how these radicals work. Moreover, researchers in Tokyo have focused attention on the development of a nano crystal aggregate (nanomachine) technology able to deliver neutron sensitizer molecules that could kill cancer cells. You can read more about it here. This nanomachine therapy can allow for surgery with no incision. Maybe we will soon see drastic improvements in the treatment of cancer?

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Something else that is very interesting is a type of paint called Airlite that breaks up contaminants and transforms them into inert compounds. It can reduce pollutants and even get rid of bacteria, viruses and odors with the use of light energy. 100 square meters painted with Airlite can eliminate air pollution produced in a year by 18 cars. In addition, it’s supposed to destroy bacteria and viruses such as Escherichia coli and staphylococcus aureus. So this paint seems to be anti-pollution, anti-bacterial, anti-smell and self cleaning. Isn’t this amazing?

Another incredible discovery, made by researchers at the University of Maryland, is that of cellulose nanopaper that is both stronger and tougher than metals. The paper is made out of 10-nanometer-thick fibers and was found to be 40 times tougher and 130 times stronger than regular notebook paper. You can read more about it here. This paper could be applied in situations where a more flexible material is needed. For example, if it’s used in electronics, this could lead to “paper electronics.” How cool would that be?

 

Nanotechnology is fascinating. What will people think of next? We are always curious about innovations and their impact on society. Will these inventions benefit life or make things worse?

In the words of the German philosopher Immanuel Kant: “All the interests of my reason, speculative as well as practical, combine in the three following questions: 1.What can I know? 2. What ought I to do? 3. What may I hope?”

How do you think quantum mechanics and nanotechnology will affect our future?

 

 

 

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