You hear the word “nanotechnology,” and what do you think of? Science fiction, maybe robots, something along those lines? In reality, nanotechnology is making life better for all of us. At its core, nanotechnology is the science of dealing with matter on an atomic and molecular scale. The hope is that scientists can use nanotechnology to create new materials and products that boast an array of applications.

The practical side of nanotechnology

As an illustration, Science Daily ran a feature story about scientists developing a way to use nanotechnology to reduce the amount of friction in car engines and machines. If this technology becomes widespread, it can help lengthen the lives of machines and engines and help them operate more effectively. According to the Science Daily story, a team of scientists created tiny polymer particles that were distributed in automobile engine base oils. When tested under conditions that simulated those present in car engines, these tiny particles were found to have an extraordinary capability to reduce friction.

More efficient motors

The story noted that even when these particles were dispersed at a low concentration, they boasted more effective friction-reducing abilities than the friction reducing additives used by lots of industries today. The scientists learned that these particles, measuring just nanometers in size, made it possible to reduce friction by 55 percent more than additives presently can. Expect more discoveries like this in the future. The field of nanotechnology continues to grow. It’s growing so quickly, in fact, that the United States recently launched a national strategy for ensuring that environmental, health, and safety research needs are recognized and addressed in the field.

The emerging world of nanotechnology

So, when you think of nanotechnology consider the engine in your car. In the not too distant future we might have nanotechnology to thank for more fuel-efficient cars, which obviously means saving you money.

 

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