glass

Aerogel

This cart demonstration introduces the nanomaterial aerogel, a glass nanofoam. Visitors learn how aerogel is made, how well it insulates, and learn about its other unique properties. They see real aerogel and feel how well it insulates.

Scientific Image -Glass Nanowire

In this optical microscope image, light can be seen passing though a silica nanowire on a silica aerogel surface.

New technologies have made it possible to draw glass in long, ultra-smooth wires with uniform diameters in the nanometer range. Because of their extraordinary uniformity, these nanowires have unique properties important in optics and photonics, both of which require precise control of light.

• SIZE: This nanowire is 530 nm long and the radius of the bent wire is 8 µm.

• IMAGING TOOL: Optical Microscope

Scientific Image - Glass Nanowire

This is a scanning electron microscope image of a silica nanowire on a silica aerogel surface. New technologies have made it possible to draw glass in long, ultra-smooth wires with uniform diameters in the nanometer range. Because of their extraordinary uniformity, these nanowires have unique properties important in optics and photonics, both of which require precise control of light.

• SIZE: The nanowire is 530 nm long and the radius of the bent wire is 8 µm.

• IMAGING TOOL: Scanning Electron Microscope

Exploring Nano & Society - Invisibility Cloak

"Exploring Nano & Society - Invisibility Cloak" is a hands-on activity in which visitors learn about refraction and how it can be used to make a glass stir rod "disappear" in a cup of baby oil. They also learn how nano researchers are trying to make invisibility cloaks by manipulating the refraction of light. Conversation around this possible new technology leads visitors to explore how technologies and society influence each other.

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