scale

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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. This component is mounted to the backside of the...

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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. At the nanoscale--one billion times smaller and time slowed by a factor of one trillion--where electromagnetic forces can be...

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Intro to Nanotechnology Video

"Nanotechnology: What's the Big Deal?" is a video introduction to the Intro to Nanotechnology exhibition. Get a broad overview of the unique challenges and opportunities presented by nanoscale science, and dive into the super tiny scale of nanotechnology.

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Changing Colors

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.

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Cutting It Down to Nano

“Cutting it Down” is a cart demo that communicates scale through a hands-on activity. Visitors learn that the nanometer size scale is very, very small—and that we can’t use macroscale tools to manipulate nanoscale materials. During the program, visitors are challenged to cut a small strip of paper in half as many times as they can—or until they reach the nanoscale, which ever comes first.

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Exploring the Solar System: Pocket Solar System activity image

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Exploring the Solar System: Pocket Solar System

“Exploring the Solar System: Pocket Solar System” is a hands-on activity in which visitors make a scale model of the distances between objects in our solar system. They learn that there is a lot of space between planets, and that our solar neighborhood contains many other interesting features and objects. They can even imagine where they might like to send a NASA mission spacecraft in the future!

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Size and Scale (Elementary and Middle School curriculum lesson)

Students will examine the order of size of objects from the nanoscale to macroscale to visualize exponents and decimals, make size comparisons of objects, and develop an understanding of how small a nanometer is in comparison to common objects. This lesson uses the metric system.

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