Sharpening our wits on the grindstone of Life: Size does matter! .comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

Sharpening our wits on the grindstone of Life

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Size does matter!

Tiny Is Beautiful: Translating 'Nano' Into Practical
Women in Physics Match Men in Success

Nanotechnology, the science of tinkering with really, really small things, is growing by leaps and bounds. Scientists are not just using it to build vast armies of miniature robots these days. They’re also using it for completely useless purposes, which is why they became scientists in the first place instead of getting real jobs.

The term “nano” comes from the Greek word nanos, meaning “teeny tiny”. Not to be confused with “nano nano” which is derived from the Orkian term “nanosheebazneeitz”, which nobody really knows what it means, because Mork never told us. But it helped power his interstellar egg from his home world to Earth, and brought to mankind such benefits as Good Morning Vietnam, Death to Smoochie, Mrs. Doubtfire and Comic Relief I - IV.

Nanoparticles, which are bigger than a molecule but smaller than a breadbox, allow manipulation of elements by altering the size of the nanoparticle. In normal physics, an element retains its properties regardless of size. But a smaller nanoparticle has different properties than a larger nanoparticle of the same element. For example, a supersmall nanoparticle of silicon will have different electrical properties than a medium size nanoparticle of silicon. And if you super-size it, it will make you really fat.

Other properties can be manipulated as well. Different sized nanoparticles of gold or silver will reflect different colors. Nanoparticles in various forms can be used to deliver medicine directly to cells, absorb nasty byproducts from those same cells, and even microwave chicken from the inside.

So here’s my plan. We dump a couple of pounds of supersmall silver nanoparticles into the water supply of, say, Texas. The properties of that particular size of silver nanoparticle will absorb all of the yellow and red wavelengths and reflect only the blue.

Voila! Instant Blue State! With this strategy, we can’t lose in 2008. Bwaa – haa – haah!

But why stop there? We can add nanoparticles to, say, Starbucks coffee or Pabst Blue Ribbon beer and have it absorb the colon blockage that has to be causing all of the anal retentiveness in this country today.

Or we could just commandeer the vast armies of miniature robots and have them conquer the world for us while we sit safely at home. You know, the way our so-called leaders are doing it now.

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