Nanotechnology: Not the Stuff of Science Fiction

You hear the term “nanotechnology,” and what do you think of? Sci-fi, maybe robots, something along those lines? In reality, nanotechnology is making life better for everyone. At its heart, nanotechnology is the science of working with matter on an atomic and molecular scale. The hope is that scientists can use nanotechnology to produce new materials and products that boast a wide range of purposes.

The practical side of nanotechnology

As an illustration, Science Daily ran a feature story about scientists creating a way to use nanotechnology to lessen the level of friction in car engines and machines. If this technology becomes widespread, it can help extend the lives of machines and engines and enable them to operate more effectively. According to the Science Daily story, a team of scientists created tiny polymer particles which were dispersed in automobile engine base oils. When tested under conditions that simulated those present in car engines, these tiny particles were found to have an amazing capability to reduce friction.

More efficient motors

Even when distributed at low concentrations they decreased friction considerably, even more so then the friction additives currently being used in many industries today. How much more do they lessen friction? By about 55 percent more! Nanotechnology is a growing industry so expect more findings like this. In fact it is growing so fast that the United States recently launched a national strategy to be sure that environmental, health, and safety research requirements are addressed in the field.

The emerging world of nanotechnology

If you feel, then, that nanotechnology is only good for Hollywood special effects blockbusters; just take a close look at your car’s engine. One day, nanotechnology could leave you with an engine that consumes less gas. That, obviously, can give you a fatter wallet, and you’ll be able to thank nanotechnology for this.

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