Nanotech events reach out to future scientists

will be dead, said Alain Kaloyeros, vice president and chief administrative officer of the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering.

According to Kaloyeros, biology as we know it will also die and so will physics.

In their stead, a new science will pervade, one that uses principles from all three of these disciplines but takes them into the high-tech age. The name of this new science is nanotechnology.

On Wednesday, April 2, Kaloyeros gave a talk entitled What is Nanotechnology to more than 125 people at the Schenectady Museum and Suits-Bueche Planetarium. The event was part of the Museum's celebration of NanoDays, a national week of nano-related public outreach events which ran from Saturday, March 29, to Sunday, April 6. The museum's programs were designed to explain essential aspects of nanotechnology and why it is scientifically important.

Many of those in attendance at Wednesday's talk were parents accompanied by their children.

"Our target audience this week is families," said Erin Breslin, a spokeswoman for the museum. "The earlier the kids start learning about nanotechnology in life, the better."

Kaloyeros said the term "nanotechnology" stems from the word "nanometer" or one-billionth of a meter. Kaloyeros said nanotech focuses on the dimension of scale of individual atomic or molecular clusters, generally 100 nanometers or smaller.

The most common component of nanotechnology is the computer chip, which Kaloyeros called the "backbone of the 21st century global economy."

According to Kaloyeros, where the 1940s was characterized by the race to create the first atomic bomb, the 1960s marked a race to put the first man on the moon and the 1990s were characterized by the influx of the Internet, nanotechnology is the science that characterizes this moment in history.

And for Kaloyeros, "Nanotechnology is not the target here, but the vehicle or tool that leads to many other inventions and dreams."

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