What is nanoscience?
Nanoscience is the synthesis, manipulation, and analysis of materials that are between 1-100 nanometers (a nanometer is one billionth of a meter). The properties of materials in this size range are different than larger, “macro” versions of the same material. This is due to the difference in the magnitude of the forces that effect the material. For example, gravity is the major force that effects all of us at the macroscale. However, at the nanoscale, materials are so small and have so little mass, that gravity is not the primary force. Therefore, other forces (such as electromagnetic forces), become more prominent, and this is what gives materials at the nanoscale their special properties. The small size also means that classical descriptions and models of for the behavior of materials don’t always apply, and instead quantum mechanical models need to be used. Another interesting feature of nanomaterials is a property called the surface to volume ratio. A large particle has most of it’
Nanoscience is the emerging science of working with and building structures to the scale of 10 10,000 atoms (nanometre to micrometre sizes). Nanoscience includes concepts of how to analyse, measure and visualise structures of molecular dimensions, the design of new materials with specific properties and the study of how molecules interact with each other to form stable structures. More desciption of Nanoscience can be found on the Science faculty Nanoscience and Technology web page. Nanoscience and Technology is an interdisciplinary Major comprising units of study offered by several Schools and Departments in the faculties of Science and Engineering. As for all majors, it is defined by choices in your Senior (3rd) year but these depend on your choices in earlier years. In your first year you will be studying units in Physics, Maths, Chemistry and Engineering. By your third year you will probably be majoring in Physics and Chemistry. Details can be found in the Science Faculty Handbook.
Nanoscience and nanotechnology involve studying and working with matter on an ultra-small scale. One nanometre is one-millionth of a millimetre and a single human hair is around 80,000 nanometres in width. Nanoscience and nanotechnology encompass a range of techniques rather than a single discipline, and stretch across the whole spectrum of science, touching medicine, physics, engineering and chemistry.