Week 8 Blog Post
Professor Vesna introduces us to this week’s discussion about nanotechnology by describing it as one of the most important and groundbreaking forms of art we have yet to study. Professor Vesna explains that the rise of nanotechnology is “pushing us over the edge into the 21st century.” Being a collaborative science it is rapidly being connected to the arts as artists and scientists are coming together to further explore this field.
I really enjoyed listening to Dr. Gimzewki’s lectures as he continued to elaborate on nanotechnology. Gimzewski broke down nanotechnology to the atom and explained how the sizing worked, as nanotechnology uses a scale of 10, illustrating just how tiny these atoms are. From this I came to realize that nanotechnology is all about precision. With every little atom that makes up this entire field being so small, you must be very precise and exact when examining the images. Dr. Gimzewki professed that nanotechnology is already starting to “change the world in social and economic ways.” This field of science is a huge breakthrough that is allowing us to see things in a whole different light.
After explaining the scaling of the atoms, Dr. Gimzewki discussed the background to nanotechnology. While most of the huge discoveries have been made fairly recently, nanotechnology dates back to Richard Feynman and the lecture he gave at Caltech in 1959. Feynman was the first person who saw a future in this field. His ideas were then built upon by K. Eric Drexler who viewed nanotechnology from an engineer and mechanical point of view. Learning about these two men and their contributions to nanotechnology helped me understand that this topic is constantly being studied and developed by new scientists. Each idea leads to the next and it is beginning to pick up pace as more ideas and contributions are being produced by these scientists who have studied past scientists’ work with nanotechnology.
In the second lecture we learned about the new form of carbon that was discovered due to nanotechnology. This example proved the positive affects that nanotechnology can produce. Dr. Gimzewki also explained how the invention of the new Scanning Tunneling Microscope helped advance nanotechnology greatly. From here, nanotechnology has been able to connect to the field of art. Due to the fact that this new microscope can produce more accurate images of the atoms, we are now able to see the art that exists behind the science. Artists are able to view these images and use their own creative minds to produce even more works of art.
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