It’s another day on the job at a new home build. All your materials have been delivered and your tools are close at hand. Now what?
Well, you could take all those 2x4s and stack them on top of each other, log-cabin style. Seems like the obvious building method, right? What could be easier or more natural?
But we know there’s a better way. We rearrange the studs geometrically into a lighter, more effi cient structure. Essentially, we’ve taken one object — a pile of wood — and changed it into another: a stud-framed wall.
Now imagine doing something similar on an atomic or molecular scale, and you’re close to understanding nanotechnology — the process of making new things by rearranging the building blocks of material. “Scientists around the world now have sophisticated equipment to manipulate matter at the nano scale,” explains Marlene Huerta, principal business advisor and nanoprograms manager at Alberta Innovates, the provincially funded corporation responsible for strategic research and innovation.