NanoTech: A primer

Science / Web/Tech Technology | Everything you always wanted to know about nanotechology…

Great article on Nano-Technology. Better than most in that it explains the counter-intuitive behavior that occurs at the smallest levels of structure.

“The kingdom of nanotechnology is infinitely more complex and mysterious than the atomic world first sketched out by Democritus because it spans both the atomic and the subatomic. Nanoengineers manipulate individual atoms by controlling their ability to chemically bond. But to bond, atoms must share tiny bits of themselves — electrons. Electrons are subatomic particles, so a few rudimentary concepts from quantum mechanics must be used to characterize their behavior.

Quantum behavior is never seen in the ‘real’ world, nor does it make logical sense. Consider one of the most famous findings of quantum mechanics, the so-called wave-particle duality. This expression refers to is the fact that all objects — whether light or boulders — exhibit at times a wavelike nature, at other times a particle-like nature. Electrons, for example, must behave like both waves and particles for the chemical bond to work. The intellectually challenging (not to say mind-boggling) part is that absolutely speaking, neither an electron nor any other object ‘is’ either a particle or a wave: It simply exhibits wave or particle properties at different times.”

(Via Salon.)

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