water

Zoom into a Lotus Leaf video

In this film "Zoom into a Lotus Leaf," see an up close look at the tiny nanostructures that give the leaf its unique behavior. The Lotus Leaf is a symbol of purity because it appears to be perpetually clean. We now know that its self-cleaning properties are due to its ability to repel water very effectively; it's superhydrophobic. It gets its superhydrophobicity from tiny nanostructures. We start with a normal digital camera and zoom in using increasingly powerful microscopes as we explore this phenomena.

Three Drops

Three Drops is a full body immersive simulation that allows visitors to interact with water at three size scales using their shadows. At each scale, different physical forces can be observed. At the macro (human) scale, where gravity is the noticeable force, visitors are showered with water drops from a simulated shower. At the microscale--one thousand times smaller--where surface tension becomes more apparent, visitors play with a beach-ball sized water drop.

Scientific Image - Water Droplet on a Nasturtium Leaf

he Lotus Effect describes water droplets rolling off leaf surfaces, removing dirt and contaminants in the process. This phenomenon can also be seen in the more common nasturtium. Scanning electron microscope images show that nasturtium leaves are covered by waxy nanocrystal bundles. The uneven surface created by these tiny structures traps air between water and leaf, causing the water to roll off. Research on such nanoscale effects has inspired revolutionary new materials, including water- and stain-resistant fabrics.

• IMAGING TOOL: Optical microscope

NanoBuzz online puzzle games

NanoBuzz is a web-based kiosk featuring exhibit-ready access to current nanoscale science, technology and engineering and emerging research in the news. Website includes four online puzzle games: Help assemble the carbon nanotubes, Help filter the water, Try to find the nanoparticle, and Test your nanotech memory.

Nanotechnology World of Possibilities Cartoon Posters

Set of cartoon posters on the possibilities of nanotechnology developed by Jive Media Africa funded by the Department of Science and Technology through South African Agency for Science and Technology Advancement (SAASTA). Poster topics include water purification, cancer treatment, and energy. A learner handbook with classroom lessons and worksheets accompanies the posters.

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