When you hear the word “nanotechnology,” does science fiction come to mind? In fact, nanotechnology is part of our daily lives; it makes our way of life easier. Nanotechnology is essentially the science of dealing with matter on an atomic and molecular scale. Scientists can use nanotechnology to develop new materials that can be applied and used in a variety of ways.

The practical side of nanotechnology

As an illustration, Science Daily ran a feature story about scientists creating a way to use nanotechnology to reduce the amount of friction in car engines and machines. If this technology becomes widespread, it may help prolong the lives of machines and engines and enable them to operate more proficiently. 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 found in car engines, these tiny particles were found to have an extraordinary capability to reduce friction.

More efficient motors

The story reported 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 discovered 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 such as this down the road. The field of nanotechnology continues to grow. It’s growing so quickly, in fact, that the United States recently released a national strategy for ensuring that environmental, health, and safety research needs are determined and addressed in the field.

The emerging world of nanotechnology

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

 

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