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Nano's Big Future
JUNE 2006
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Photo captions by Carol Kaufman
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Nano's Big Future Gallery Photo

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Alternate Universe
Photograph by Mark Thiessen

At the National Institute of Standards and Technology's Immersive Visualization Facility, mathematician Howard Hung experiences a quantum dot—a semiconductor crystal just a few nanometers in size. Interacting with such objects in a 3-D landscape instead of looking at images of them enables scientists to "easily perceive complex relationships," says Hung. Such insight is crucial because the properties of basic materials can radically change when they are nanosize. For instance, scientists have developed glass that can withstand temperatures up to 1800°F (982°C) for more than two hours and tiny gold-plated spheres that can destroy cancer cells in mice without harming healthy tissue.
Photo Fast Facts
Camera: Canon EOS-1DS MarkII
Format: Digital (100 ISO)
Lens: 16mm
Speed and F-Stop: 1/6 @ f/4.0
Weather Conditions: Indoors
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