When you hear the term “nanotechnology,” does science fiction spring to mind? In fact, nanotechnology is part of our daily lives; it makes our way of life easier. Nanotechnology is basically the science of dealing with matter on an atomic and molecular scale. Scientists can use nanotechnology to produce new materials that can be applied and used in several different ways.

The practical side of nanotechnology

As an example, Science Daily ran a feature story about scientists developing a way to use nanotechnology to minimize the amount of friction in car engines and machines. If this technology becomes widespread, it can help lengthen the lives of machines and engines and help them operate more effectively. According to the Science Daily story, a team of scientists produced tiny polymer particles that were distributed in automobile engine base oils. When tested under conditions that simulated those found in car engines, these tiny particles were found to have a unprecedented ability to minimize friction.

More efficient motors

Even when distributed at low concentrations they diminished friction significantly, much more so then the friction additives currently being utilized in many industries today. How much more do they reduce friction? By about 55 percent more! Nanotechnology is a developing industry so expect more discoveries like this. In fact it is growing so quickly that the United States recently released a national strategy to be sure that environmental, health, and safety research requirements are addressed in the field.

The emerging world of nanotechnology

Next time you consider nanotechnology think of your car’s engine. Some day nanotechnology might be responsible for helping you save lots of money due to your engine using less gas.

 

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