New ebook from the NanoWiki series: Nanoparticles before Nanotechnology

The NanoWiki team present another NanoWiki compilation: “Nanoparticles Before Nanotechnology”. This year they chose this topic because nanoparticles are too often presented solely as artificial man-made objects, that have come in contact with people and environment only in the last two decades. However, nanoparticles and other nanostructures are found in nature, for example in volcanic ashes, or created through natural processes, like burning wood. Also, they are found in things that people created or used “before nanotechnology times”, like ancient ceramics, colored glass, or even in milk.

Acknowledging the fact that nanoparticles existed before “nanotechnology” as such entered our mindsets, is very important to properly understand and handle nanomaterials, particularly in today’s debates on nanomaterials regulation: what is a nanomaterial? How and when should be labelled, regulated and tested?

Additionally, to bring nano closer to society, a long-time running aim of NanoWiki, the ebook presents some hands-on experiments, that can easily show nanoscale phenomena to the general audience.

The book was developed with the participation of Josep Saldaña and Joan Escofet from the NanoWiki team, through support from ICN, NanoAraCat and the CNBSS. The images that ilustrate the book are as always the result of scientific work with transmission and scanning electron microscopies, this time mainly onto self assembled monolayers of cobalt nanoparticles (also gold and different oxides). But this year, many of the images come from the “Nano Forest”, an impressive 3D virtual world based on these images, created in SecondLife by collective HaxGrot (Ux Hax, Maria Grot and Romi Nayar in collaboration with Lanjran Choche).

The other previous ebooks on the NanoWiki series were ‘Balancing the promises’ (2010) and ‘Engines On’ (2011). You can find more information in our section devoted to the NanoWiki project.

Nano Forest collage

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