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At the Nanoscale

At the Nanoscale is a static component that aims to show just how super small one billionth of a meter, or one nanometer, really is. A Billion Beads is an activity where visitors inspect tubes that hold quantities of one thousand tiny beads, one million beads, and one billion beads. To the naked eye, the tube containing one thousand beads appears nearly empty. Visitors see that the next tube, partially filled, contains one million beads. Finally, to compare, a four-foot tall container nearly full contains approximately one billion beads.

Creating Nanomaterials

Creating Nanomaterials is an interactive, multimedia component of the Intro to Nanotechnology exhibit package that demonstrates how scientists are using the ability of molecules to self-assemble to create consumer goods with surprising properties. Visitors place and observe “molecules” on an air hockey table. When the air hockey table is activated, the “molecules” hover and assemble into patterns all by themselves—just like molecules in nanomaterials.

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