"Invisible Sunblock" is a hands-on activity exploring how nano-scale particles are used in mineral sunblocks to increase their transparency. Visitors compare nano and non-nano sunblocks to a visual representation of the effect of particle size on visibility.
Changing Colors is an interactive exhibit that shows how some high-tech nanomaterials mimic natural phenomena. Super-small, light-reflecting structures—instead of pigments—on the wings of some butterflies create intense, iridescent colors. Nanoscientists have replicated this effect with layered, super-thin films. Watch the colors change on butterfly wings and thin-film slides as you move them beneath a light source, and discover how nanoscale structures can manipulate light and create color. Butterfly specimens deteriorate with heavy use, and may need to be replaced periodically.
"Exploring Materials - Polarizers" is a hands-on activity in which visitors use two polarizing sheets and overlapping layers of transparent tape to see how polarizers affect light. They learn that researchers are using nanotechnology to improve existing materials, in this case polarizing filters.
This is a recording of a NISE Network online brown-bag conversation held in December 2014 about the International Year of Light. In 2013, the United Nations proclaimed 2015 as the International Year of Light (IYL). More than 100 organizations from more than 85 countries are participating in IYL. During this conversation we discussed scientific organizations that would make great partners for IYL events, shared light-related activities and videos developed by the NISE Network, and talked about the science behind some of those activities.
The University of Michigan Risk Bites takes a look at five things it is worth knowing about nanoparticles in sunscreens. How safe are they?
Online Brown-Bag: The Science Behind NanoDays 2013 Activities - Part Two: Laddering Activities Around Polymers and Light at the Nanoscale (Recorded)
This is a recording of a NISE Network online brown-bag conversation held in 2013 focused on the science behind NISE Net activities related to polymers or light at the nanoscale. The following activities were discussed:
• Exploring Fabrication - Gummy Capsules • Exploring Materials - Hydrogel • Exploring Structures - Butterfly • Exploring Materials - Thin Films • Exploring Properties - Invisibility
Presented by: Rashmi Nanjundaswamy and Lizzie Hager-Barnard, Lawrence Hall of Science, Univeristy of California, Berkely
"Exploring Properties - UV Bracelets" is a hands-on activity in which visitors use ultraviolet light to change the color of beads that contain photochromic dye. They learn that the UV beads change color as a result of nanoscale shifts in the shape of the dye molecules.
"Exploring Properties - Invisibility" is a hands on activity in which visitors investigate how glass objects can be "hidden" in some liquids. They learn that researchers can use nanotechnology to engineer new materials that interact with light in special ways.
"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.
Mr. O talks about iridescence and Blue Morpho butterflies in another "O Wow" moment at the Children's Museum of Houston.