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What is Nanotechnology?

The National Nanotechnology Initiative defines nanotechnology as: The understanding and control of matter at dimensions of roughly 1 to 100 nanometers, where unique phenomena enable novel applications. Encompassing nanoscale science, engineering and technology, nanotechnology involves imaging, measuring, modeling, and manipulating matter at this length scale.

Courtesy Office of Basic Energy Sciences,Office of Science, U.S. Department of Energy What does this all mean? A nanometer is one-billionth of a meter; a sheet of paper is about 100,000 nanometers thick. By comparison, a nanometer is what a single marble is compared in size to the earth. At present, there are literally hundreds of items already being produced from tennis rackets and tennis balls to sunscreen and water filters. Nanotechnology is already part of our everyday lives and will only continue to grow. See The Scale of Things below for a comparative view of the sizes of commonly known items and nanoscale particles.

The Scale of Things - Nanometers