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The Science Of Manipulating Materials On An Atomic Or Molecular Scale

1671 words - 7 pages

Nanotechnology, as described by Merriam-Webster Dictionary (2014) is, “ the science of manipulating materials on an atomic or molecular scale especially to build microscopic devices”. In recognizing the complexity associated with this definition, it is safe to say that many different achievements as well as controversies have come along with it. Although the category of nanotechnology is extremely broad the research attached to it is growing at a rapid pace as well . There are many unexplored areas that have caused researchers as well as the public to question what types of positive or negative affects it might have on our world as a whole. Because of its strong presences in our society today, it is beneficial to become educated on this innovative form of technology to shape critical opinions of its purpose.
History of Nanotechnology
Surprisingly enough, nanotechnology has an older history than one might infer. The name makes it seem more modern than its historical ties might argue. The History of Nanotechnology (2009) article reads, “ There is evidence that gold nanoparticles were used in coloring glass in medieval times and possibly even during the days of the ancient Romans; here the size of the particle is related to color” (p.39). There is also early evidence from the “History of Nano Timeline”, (2005) that the development of photography was an early form of nanotechnology without even knowing it at the time. This evidence is not, however, widely recognized in the beginning of nanotechnology’s history. Within the same article it is also introduced that the true history of nanotechnology can be linked to a physicist, Richard Feynman in the year of 1959. Although he never actually referred to his theories as nanotechnology, years later it was realized that in fact was what his inquiries were pointing to. Another important historical marker recognized in Northwestern University’s (“History of Nano Timeline”, 2005) timeline was the development of the scanning electron microscope via nanotechnology. This was a huge breakthrough in science and technology in 1981 and still is has a huge impact today.
Current Application of Nanotechnology
As stated above, the scanning electron microscope has led to many advances in the current use of nanotechnology. For example, without the scanning electron microscope we would be behind in advances in biological and medical research breakthroughs over the past 33 years. Basavaraj (2012) has gathered many current applications in the field of nanomedicine. “As the need for the development of new medicines is pressing and given the inherent nanoscale functions of the biological components of living cells, nanotechnology has been applied to diverse medical fields such as oncology and cardiovascular medicine” (p.169). The medical field fits so well paired with nanotechnology because most cellular processes within the body are often measured on a scale of nanotechnology. Basavaraj also states, “Indeed,...

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