To be free of those clear plastic bags which hold all your bottles of liquids when you go through airport security with your luggage! That is a very worthwhile nanotechnology promise. From the news item on Nanowerk,
Restrictions on liquids in carry-on bags on commercial airliners could become a thing of the past thanks to a revolutionary nano-electric device which detects potentially hazardous liquids in luggage in a fraction of a second, according to a team of German scientists. Writing in the journal Superconductor Science and Technology, the researchers at the Forschungszentrum Juelich in western Germany claim that they have been able to do this using an optical approach that detects all existing and future harmful liquids within one fifth of a second.
Since the paper has been published, the researchers have been approached by industrial partners about producing a prototype. (sigh) Most likely this means they hope it will be about five years before we see the devices in airports. The device itself is known as a Josephson junction and you can read more about it on the Azonano site too.
I am happy to see that the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (CNSE) at the University of Albany (New York, US) has held a remarkably successful nano event, Community Day, during NANOvember attracting about 1000 people. From the news item on Nanowerk,
NANOvember is part of “NEXSTEP,” or “Nanotechnology Explorations for Science, Training and Education Promotion,” a partnership between CNSE and KeyBank. Spearheaded by CNSE’s Nanoeconomics Constellation, the initiative features a variety of educational programs designed to promote greater understanding of the changing economic and business environment in the Capital Region and New York State being driven by nanotechnology. “As nanotechnology increasingly shapes the educational and economic landscapes of the Capital Region, NANOvember offers a platform through which the community can better understand the impact and opportunities driven by this emerging science,” said Jeffrey Stone, president, Capital Region, KeyBank N.A.
I’m impressed they attracted that large a crowd in a city with a population of about 100,000 (Albany county has a population of about 300,000) according the 2000 census statistics. By contrast, the city of Vancouver (Canada) has a population of about 600,000 with a regional population of approximately 2 million (from the City of Vancouver website on November 9, 2009) and I’m hard pressed to recall either of our local universities claiming a similar success for one of their community days.
One other point about Albany and nanotechnology, in a July 2008 posting I noted a $1.5B investment for a research centre in Albany, NY, being made by IBM. So this nanotechnology communication/education event seems to dovetail very nicely with past occurrences and suggests an overall strategy is at work.
Some haiku from NISEnet’s (Nanoscale Informal Science Education Network) newsletter,
After you read this
Your finger nail will have grown
a nanometerby Troy Dassler
We struggle to show
The size of a molecule.
Kids wait patiently.by Mike Falvo
You can check out the organization’s The Nano Bite blog here.