Post Titled: Corporate Watch
Slanted, yet interesting: HERE.
Its difficult to grasp quite how small the nano-scale is. To give some reference points one nanometre (nm) is one billionth of a metre, or one millionth of a millimetre. A human hair is 80,000nm thick, a red blood cell is 5,000nm in diameter, a DNA molecule is 2.5nm wide and 10 hydrogen atoms arranged side by side measure 1nm.
What is so exciting about the nano-scale?
The nano-scale is special in two ways:
Everything is the same
When viewed at the nano-scale the whole world starts to look the same. Everything on this planet both living and non-living is made up of atoms and molecules, and at the nano-scale that is all you see. The paper this briefing is printed on (or the computer you are viewing it on), the trees you can see from the window, the glass in the window, your cat and you yourself, everything is made up of atoms and molecules arranged in different combinations and different structures.
Biotech broke the species barrier. Nanotech breaks the life/ non-life barrier
Things behave differently
The other important feature of the nano-scale is that substances start to behave very differently when they are very small. Below about 100nm the rules that govern the behaviour of the elements of our known world start to give way to the rules of quantum physics, and everything changes. To take the example of gold, we are all familiar with gold at the ‘everyday’ macro-scale, for instance, a gold ring is a familiar shiny orangey/yellow colour. The same is true of a particle of gold 100nm wide, but, a particle of gold 30nm across is bright red, slightly bigger than that it is purple and going smaller still it is brownish in colour. Not only colour changes at the nanoscale. Other properties including strength, reactivity, conductivity and electronic properties also change as size decreases...Major corporate nano-developers or users include:
computers/electronics: IBM, NEC, Fujitsu, Hitachi, Phillips, Hewlett Packard, Samsung, Motorola, Mitsubishi, General Electric, Microsoft
food: Kraft/Altria, Unilever, Nestle, Heinz, Sara Lee
drugs/healthcare: GlaxoSmithKline, Smith and Nephew, Merck
oil: BP, Exxon, Chevron/Texaco, Shell, Halliburton
clothing: Burlington Industries, Nike, Gap
defence/aerospace: Sandia/Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Qinetiq, Raytheon
cosmetics: L'Oreal, Body Shop, Boots
chemicals: Dupont, Degussa, Dow, Henkel, ICI
agriculture: Syngenta, Monsanto, Bayer
cars/automotive: BMW, Renault, General Motors, Ford, Caterpillar"
Labels: Corporate Watch Website Nanotechnology Corporate use of Nanotechnology