The second week of class I like to make the students familiar with the Nanoscale. I first discuss a little about why the nanoscale is important. I introduce the unit factor conversion at this time. The students do some simple metric conversions between nanometer, micron, angstrom, millimeter, centimeter and meter. They also do some conversions with different magnification factors. For example: How big will a 7.5 micron red blood cell appear to be under a magnification of 10,000 X? An image of a bacterium measures 3 mm in length when magnified 1,000 X. How big is the bacterium actually? I also have them use a micron bar on a micrograph to determine the size of feature.

The "Lab" activity for the second week is a just to measure a variety of objects. We pretend that we are able to work at a magnification of 100,000 X and I have several common objects in the room which I chose to be the same size as those objects if they were magnified by 100,000 X. See the picture:

The 15 m rope is placed in a circle and I tell them to imagine a great tree 5 m in diameter growing out of the ground. That would be like a human hair (50 um) at 100,000 X. I also show them how to use a vernier scale and a caliper and a micrometer.

I have a chart of different tools such as optical microscope, SEM, TEM, AFM, STM with limitations and resolution for each tool and try to get them to think about which tool would be useful for viewing or measuring different objects such as atoms, carbon nanotubes, pollen, state of the art transistors.

I asked one of the students to volunteer to fill the EDS dewar with liquid nitrogen. I will have a different student fill it each week.

I also spent some time this week in using the calculator. Students often have trouble with scientific notation (EE/EXP) button when entering 10^9 they want to press "10 EE 9" instead of "1 EE 9" as you should.

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Tags: education


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Comment by Sanjukta Ganguli on January 2, 2009 at 3:34pm
I appreciate your excellent presentation. I have just gone through it and would study deeply later. Meanwhile, may I know the age group or in which standard the students are?

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Comment by TINC on September 4, 2008 at 9:14pm
Ok, thanks! I make a presentation of our network at a "scientist night" program with a small activity about nano... you give us new useful ideas... thanks

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Comment by Hans Mikelson on September 4, 2008 at 9:12pm
I already took it down. We use note cards and markers and put it on the wall. You could do a fancier one. The complete list of people, and I sometimes do not use all of them, follows:

Richard Feynman, K. Eric Drexler, Don Eigler, Gerd Binnig, Heinrich Roher, Ernst Ruska, Richard Smalley, Robert Curl, Harry Kroto, Sumio Iijima, Anton van Leeuwenhoek, Dmitri Mendeleev, John Dalton, Wilhelm Roentgen, Democritus, Empedocles, Max Planck, Francis Crick, George M. Whitesides, James Heath, Ernest Rutherford, Albert Einstein, Erwin Schrödinger, James Watson, Ned Seeman, Naomi Halas, James Von Her II, John Bardeen, Walter Brattain, William Shockley

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Comment by TINC on September 4, 2008 at 8:58pm
Hans, have you some cards, pics abuot the people from the history of nanoscience, what you use at the first week for time scale? contact me on editor@nanopaprika.eu

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Comment by TINC on September 4, 2008 at 8:55pm
interesting, thanks :)

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