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What is nano?

Nano is short for ‘nanotechnology’, although the word itself just means really, really small.

Nanotechnology, or more accurately nanotechnologies, describe the many ways that scientists can now work with the actual molecules and atoms that make up our world. It’s basically a way of making things.

We measure things in metres and centimetres, but nano scientists work in nanometers, that’s a billionth of a metre. That’s very very VERY small!

Why does small make a difference

At this nanoscale things don’t always behave as they do when they are larger. They might be stronger or lighter, or, more reactive or because they are so small, they can be used in different ways than in their larger form.

What scientists do with nanotechnologies is take
control of these reactions to make new products or processes, from mobile phones to sunscreens, airplanes
to medicines.

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