The Basics of Nanotechnology

 

The word “nanotechnology” can mean different things to different people. Some people, when they hear the word nanotechnology, will think of Hollywood sci-fi flicks, others will think of microscopic robots that clean gums and teeth, and some will conjure images of fab new materials that are stronger than steel, but light as air. It is clear that nanotechnology has captured not just the attention of the scientific community but that of the media and the public as well but what is nanotechnology, really?

What is It?

The Basics of Nanotechnology

In the purest sense of the word, nanotechnology is the science of the very small. It involves things that are measured in units they call “nanometers,” which is about one-billionth of a centimeter. To give you a clearer idea of how small a nanometer is, imagine that if you were to stretch a single meter from NY all the way to LA, each nanometer would still be about the size of one aspirin tablet. It is that small and it is that fascinating.

Where can Nanotechnology be Used?

It might seem super high-tech and futuristic, and some of you might feel that nanotechnology will only be limited to things like robots or international espionage (as depicted in movies) but it can actually be applied to a great number of things such as some of the examples below:

Medicine – The use of nanotechnology in medicine has experts excited because it may just be the answer to cancer along with other treatments that are focused on tumors. Research involving gold nanoparticles has shown a lot of promise and remarkable results. Once the technology and the method of delivery are perfected, nanotechnology can kill tumors without surgical trauma.

Tablets and computers – Do you think nanotechnology is only reserved for the extremely high tech? If you are using a tablet or any other computing device, chances are, you may be using nanotechnology. They are quite common in many computing devices on the market, and you can even find nanotechnology used in the making of those anti-microbial coatings for your gadgets.

Is there a Bad Side?

Just like a lot of other things, nanotechnology has some disadvantages. For instance, “nanosilver” that is used in sports apparel to kill odors is quite dangerous to the environment and can cause birth defects to fish and other marine mammals if it gets into the water once the apparel are discarded by their owners.

 

5 Worst Volcanic Eruptions of All Time

 

With the number of earthquakes that shake the world these days, one of them is soon going to trigger a volcanic eruption or two. The extent of the eruption cannot be known at this time of course; it could be small or it could be so massive that it could devastate the area around it like so many other volcanoes have done throughout the history of the world. Volcanoes are forces of nature that humans are powerless against; when one erupts, the best thing to do is get out of the way ASAP.

Below are 5 of the worst volcanic eruptions of all time that will make you marvel at the force of nature.

Top 5 Worst Volcanic Eruptions

Mt. Tambora

Mt. Tambora

Mt. Tambora can be found in Sumbawa Island, Indonesia. The explosion of this volcano was ranked 7 (super-colossal) on the VEI or the Volcanic Activity Index. It is also the second-highest ranking eruption to be found in the index. The eruption peaked in April 1815; it exploded with such a massive amount of noise that people all the way from the island of Sumatra (1,930km away) heard it. It killed around 71,000 people and covered far-away islands in ash.

Chanbaishan Volcano

This volcano is located on the North Korea/China border and it erupted around 1000 AD and ranks 7 on the VEI. The eruption spewed volcanic material all the way to northern Japan which is about 1,200 km away from the volcano. Its eruption was so massive that a caldera 4.5km across and nearly 1km wide was formed in the summit of the mountain.

Mt. Thera

Located on the island of Santorini in Greece. Scientists believe it erupted around 1610 BC and has a VEI rank of 7. They also state that the energy from the eruption was equivalent to several atomic bombs going off within a fraction of a single second.

Ilopango Volcano

This volcano is found in El Salvador and while it has only erupted twice, the one that happened in 450 AD was quite a monster. It covered vast tracks of land with ash and forced the early Mayans to flee for their lives.

Mt. Pinatubo

Mt. Pinatubo

Located in Luzon Island in the Philippines, the 1991 explosion of Mt. Pinatubo ranked 6 in the VEI. This stratovolcano ejected around 5 cubic km of volcanic material into the air and expelled a column of ash 35 km into the atmosphere. The explosion spewed millions of tons of particles and sulfur dioxide into the air and it caused global temperatures to drop by 0.5 degree Celsius for a year after.