Nano in your ear! Nanotechnology and hearing

stereocilia

Nano in your ear! No, it’s not a childish taunt of nanotechnology adherents or a threat of nano-bots invading our bodies, but a fact of life – nature’s nanotechnology plays a key role in our ability to hear the world around us. To me, “nano in the ear” is not just scientific – it’s personal. Like …

What’s With All Those Flaming Cell Phones? A Primer on Battery Safety

cell with smoke

By now you’ve probably heard about Samsung’s recall of all Galaxy Notes 7s. Several years ago the entire worldwide fleet of 787 “Dreamliners” was grounded due to onboard battery fires. You might be wondering, “Why are all these batteries catching on fire? Are lithium ion batteries safe?” To answer this, let’s look at how a …

Buckle Your Seat Belts: The Phase II Center for Sustainable Nanotechnology is Ready for Launch!

Over the last 10 years the world has seen revolutionary changes in how we see, how we communicate, and how we move. That new hybrid vehicle you’re driving? Its batteries are made possible by the ability to control the nanostructure of new kinds of materials. That new laptop or e-reader display? The light you see …

The Science Behind Deflate-Gate

The football community is abuzz about the latest scandal to hit football – deflate-gate! The New England Patriots are accused of intentionally using footballs with pressure lower than that allowed by the NFL in the Championship game last week. Finger-pointers argue that the Patriots intentionally cheated, because a ball with lower pressure is more “squishable” …

Nuclear Proliferation & Sustainability: the History of Nanodiamonds

Half a century ago, a Soviet scientist was tucked away in a top-secret facility. The results of his experiments are critical to our work here the Center for Sustainable Nanotechnology. Find it hard to believe? Read on!Why We Use NanodiamondsOne of the materials that we are using in our research is nano-sized diamond. We also …

A Giant of Nanotechnology Falls – Heinrich Rohrer

Heinrich (“Heini”) Rohrer, a nanotechnology pioneer, Nobel Prize winner, and personal mentor to me and many other scientists, has died. The field of nanotechnology was largely enabled by Heini’s co-invention of the scanning tunneling microscope along with his collaborator, Gerd Binnig, in the early-1980s. This microscope scans an atomically sharp tip across a surface to …

Why are Nanomaterials so Special and What is the Center for Sustainable Nanotechnology?

Now that you’ve somehow gotten to this blog, you’re probably wondering, “Where am I? What is this ‘Center for Sustainable Nanotechnology’?” Our “center” is actually a group of people who care about our environment and are doing collaborative research to help ensure that our planet will be habitable hundreds of years from now – in …

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