Totally tiny technology


The iPod Nano is a household name, and the Tata Nano — the world’s least expensive production car — is set to become one. But what does the term ‘nano’ actually mean?


Find out this week when the 2008 East Midlands Nanotechnology Roadshow, funded by the East Midlands Development Agency (emda), appears at the Lincolnshire Show on Wednesday 18 and Thursday 19 June.


Featuring experts from the University of Lincoln’s Department of Forensic and Biomedical Sciences, and from other universities across the region, the event will involve interactive displays, games and videos, showing how this tiny technology has such a huge impact on our everyday lives and affects healthcare, transport, lifestyle, electronics and manufacturing.


Dr Mark Baron, Principal Lecturer in Analytical Chemistry said: “The roadshow will be a great opportunity to raise the public profile of nanotechnology in the East Midlands. Around the world this new technology is beginning to have an enormous impact on how people live their lives and interact with the environment.”


Professor Peter White, Professor in Forensic Science added: “The nanotechnology roadshow demonstrates clearly the East Midlands’ strength in science in general and nanotechnology in particular.”


Visitors to the roadshow will also be able to: catch that molecule - play on the super-sized bagatelle to catch a molecule; drive a Lotus — feel the effects at the wheel of a racing car in this fun challenge; spy tiny technology — use microscopes attached to computer screens to examine ‘nano’ components in detail; meet NanoMan — this contortionist can squeeze himself into tiny spaces, just like the molecules and forces essential to nanoscience; play nano computer games; win an iPod Nano by entering the nano quiz.


Andrew Morgan, Skills and Communities Director at emda said: “As part of the iFestival and funded through emda's £6 million STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Maths) initiative, the Nano roadshows will be interactive, inspirational and engaging. It’s terrific that so many partners are working together to help more people in the East Midlands discover how exciting the practical application of science can be.”