RMIT’s Dr Kay Latham explains how nanotechnology works.
INTRODUCTION: Dr Kay Latham discusses Nanotechnology as a technology, its applicationsand its potential. The majority of this video is animated words and pictures - the words being exactly those that are spoken, and the pictures diagrammatic representations of the samethings.
AUDIO: Ambient music playing
VISUAL: Blank screen with RMIT Logo centred on screen
VISUAL: Screen with Dr Kay Latham’s face and upper torso drawn on, showing on the left hand side, while the text How Nano-Technology Works, with Dr Kay Latham appears on the Right Hand Side.
ANIMATED TEXT ON SCREEN: Nano Technology is concerned with being able to manipulate matter, Atomic and molecular level.
KAY LATHAM SPEAKS: Nanotechnology is concerned with being able to manipulate matter at the atomic and molecular level and that means working on the nanoscale. To see matter at this scale, we need to use really powerful microscopes which focus down to tiny areas on even tinier specimen dishes. To give you an idea, to set it in context, if we look at a pin, a pin is about one millimetre across the head, a million nanometres. Another example, a human hair, is sixty thousand nanometres across. When we're working at this nanoscale we're generally referring to structures which are between one to one hundred nanometres in scale and when we get down to this atomic level, we start to see very interesting new materials emerge with often quite surprising properties. As an example, if we take the everyday pencil the graphite that runs through the centre of the pencil, that's carbon. If we reduce that graphite down to carbon atoms, we're then able to build it back up to form carbon nanotubes. These are minuscule cylinders of carbon which are very light, flexible and very strong. And they also have very interesting electrical and heat conductive properties that have attracted a lot of interest from researchers who have designed everything from flat panel displays through to electrical surge protectors, and they're also beginning to be used to design devices that can treat and detect disease in the body. As another example, if we take gold, gold on the nanoscale doesn't look gold at all, it's either red, or blue or green depending on the size and shape of the particles. And gold nanoparticles have also found a range of applications which include improving the speed of computers; they've been added to paint to produce really intense colour and make them more durable; and they're also beginning to be used in the fight to treat cancer. I'd say on the whole, even though nanotechnology is a fairly new area, it has incredible potential and is a really exciting area to be involved in.
VISUAL: Screen changes to a white background with the RMIT logo in the centre.
WORDS ON SCREEN: Dr Kay Latham is from the School of Applied Sciences at RMIT University
WORDS ON SCREEN: www.rmit.edu.au
AUDIO: Ambient music fades out
[End of Transcript]
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