Sunday, May 15, 2016

Week 8: Nanotechnology and Art

Nanotechnology is a very prevalent subject because it is the blending of many disciplines. Nanotechnology is a combination of chemistry, biology, mechanical and electrical engineering, and physics… the blending of all these disciplines in and of itself is an art. In her introduction to this week’s lectures, Professor Vesna mentioned that nanotechnology is a reinvention of how science works, because it is an amazing combination of so many different subsections of science! She says nanotechnology is what’s going to “push us to the edge into the 21st century.” I believe that we have many technological advancements and discoveries to look forward to due to nanotechnology. 

Dr. Gimzewski gave me new insight into just how different the realm of nanotechnology is than the realms of other sciences that I have been exposed to. For example, it works on an infinitely smaller scale than we can imagine. The scale is not linear, but based on powers of 10 to describe the microscopic nature of nanotechnology that allows it to manipulate things on an atomic scale. Nanotechnology goes beyond the powers of human perception - 25,000 pages of the Encyclopedia Britannica was written on a pinhead! This would not be possible with simply the work of human hands, let alone perceptible to the human eye. If nanotechnology allows us to complete feats like this, it seems that there are almost no boundaries to what this expertise could accomplish, both scientifically and artistically. 

I believe that nanotechnology will become part of our everyday lives, and enhance our artistic experiences. In this week’s reading, it was discussed that the blue coloring on a Blue Morpho butterfly is not a pigment, but rather a protein structure that manipulates the light reflected off of it so that we see blue instead of black. Upon learning this, I now wonder if manipulations of proteins through nanotechnology will allow us to see different colors or combine them in new artistic ways that we have not yet experienced. As far as everyday life goes, nanotechnology has already made its way into food preservatives, athletic wear, and even self-cleaning glass. I hope that these technological advancements will continue to be used for the betterment of society and enhance our overall health rather than cause further problems. I’m sure it will be an ongoing process for us as a species by trial and error to explore this amazing technology and ensure its positive use. 

Gimzewski, James K. "Lecture: Nanotech for Artists Part 1." YouTube. YouTube, 2012. Web. 15 May 2016.
Gimzewski, James K. "Lecture: Nanotech for Artists Part 2." YouTube. YouTube, 2012. Web. 15 May 2016.

Gimzewski, James K. "Lecture: Nanotech for Artists Part 3." YouTube. YouTube, 2012. Web. 15 May 2016.

Gimzewski, James K. "Lecture: Nanotech for Artists Part 4." YouTube. YouTube, 2012. Web. 15 May 2016.

Gimzewski, James K. "Lecture: Nanotech for Artists Part 6." YouTube. YouTube, 2012. Web. 15 May 2016.

Vesna, Victoria. "Nanotech Intro." YouTube. YouTube, 2012. Web. 15 May 2016.

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