Agriculture
Silk’s superpowers
Making the most of a meal
Flush-Free Fertilizer
Amphibians
Bullfrogs
Tree Frogs
Toads
Animals
Lucky Survival for Black Cats
A Sense of Danger
How to Fly Like a Bat
Behavior
Diving, Rolling, and Floating, Alligator Style
Bringing fish back up to size
Pain Expectations
Birds
Flamingos
Albatrosses
Falcons
Chemistry and Materials
Butterfly Wings and Waterproof Coats
Silk’s superpowers
Popping to Perfection
Computers
Secrets of an Ancient Computer
Earth from the inside out
Middle school science adventures
Dinosaurs and Fossils
An Ancient Feathered Biplane
Ancient Critter Caught Shedding Its Skin
Watery Fate for Nature's Gliders
E Learning Jamaica
2014 GSAT Results for Jamaican Kids
Results of GSAT are in schools this week
E Learning in Jamaica WIN PRIZES and try our Fun Animated Games
Earth
Springing forward
Earth from the inside out
A Dire Shortage of Water
Environment
Giant snakes invading North America
Shrimpy Invaders
Indoor ozone stopper
Finding the Past
Oldest Writing in the New World
An Ancient Childhood
Stone Tablet May Solve Maya Mystery
Fish
Basking Sharks
Halibut
Bull Sharks
Food and Nutrition
Eat Out, Eat Smart
The Color of Health
Sponges' secret weapon
GSAT English Rules
Adjectives and Adverbs
Who vs. That vs. Which
Capitalization Rules
GSAT Exam Preparation Jamaica
GSAT Practice Papers | GSAT Mathematics | Maths
Results of GSAT are in schools this week
GSAT Exam Preparation
GSAT Exams Jamaica Scholarships
GSAT Practice Papers | GSAT Mathematics | Maths
GSAT Exam Preparation
Access denied - Disabled boy aces GSAT
GSAT Mathematics
10 Common Mistakes When Preparing for the GSAT Math Test
GSAT Practice Papers | GSAT Mathematics | Maths
Prime Time for Cicadas
Human Body
Foul Play?
Taking the sting out of scorpion venom
Music in the Brain
Invertebrates
Lobsters
Mosquitos
Mussels
Mammals
African Wildedbeest
Cornish Rex
African Elephants
Parents
How children learn
Expert report highlights the importance to parents of reading to children!
Choosing a Preschool: What to Consider
Physics
IceCube Science
Powering Ball Lightning
Road Bumps
Plants
Pumping Up Poison Ivy
Underwater Jungles
A Giant Flower's New Family
Reptiles
Crocodilians
Gila Monsters
Lizards
Space and Astronomy
Tossing Out a Black Hole Life Preserver
A Smashing Display
Icy Red Planet
Technology and Engineering
A Satellite of Your Own
Searching for Alien Life
Drawing Energy out of Wastewater
The Parts of Speech
Pronouns
Adjectives and Adverbs
Countable and Uncountable Nouns
Transportation
Robots on the Road, Again
Charged cars that would charge
Morphing a Wing to Save Fuel
Weather
Antarctica warms, which threatens penguins
Weekend Weather Really Is Different
The solar system's biggest junkyard
Add your Article

Atomic Drive

Made of 169 atoms, each car is a single molecule that measures just 3 nanometers wide and 4 nanometers long. One nanometer is equal to one-billionth of a meter. It would take about 20,000 nanocars in single file to span the width of a human hair. Scientists at Rice University in Houston, Texas, announced their invention of nanocars last October. More recently, the scientists added miniature motors to their machines. The same research group, led by chemist James Tour, previously produced NanoKids—molecules that look vaguely like human figures (see "The Incredible Shrunken Kids"). NanoKids (if they were old enough) could probably drive nanocars, but that's not the purpose of these wee automobiles. Someday, nanocars might help boost the efficiency of atomic-scale construction projects, such as the building of computer chips. Some of these tiny vehicles might work as medical submarines, probing our bodies for disease. Starting small Tour's inspiration came from thinking about how nature builds things—from the bottom up. In other words, nature starts small and gets bigger. Trees, for example, begin life as seeds, and they add cells as they grow. On the other hand, when people build things, they usually work in the opposite direction. "People generally construct from the top down," Tour says. "If you want to build a table, you cut down a big tree [for the wood] to make it." Even when scientists construct molecules, they generally use large machines to nudge each atom into place. Nanocars, Tour thought, might be a better way to pick up atoms and move them around. To understand his reasoning, think about termites. Each termite is tiny, but a large group of these insects can work together to build huge mounds of dirt. Nanocars, likewise, might be able to team up and construct intricate objects. Rolling molecules It took 5 years of hard work to make a nanocar that could roll, Tour says. The scientists used carbon and other common elements to make a platformlike frame and axles for holding the wheels. Each wheel was a molecule called buckminsterfullerene, which consists of 60 carbon atoms arranged in a pattern that looks like the surface of a soccer ball. Trucks, tractors, and bulldozers are impressive machines. They can rip into the earth or carry tons of gear. Large vans line the streets of many neighborhoods in the United States. Meanwhile, everyday automobiles seem to be getting bigger and bigger. A new wave of vehicles, however, is pushing a different kind of size limit. Called nanocars, these dream machines are practically invisible. After they'd manufactured the nanocars, the researchers used a special microscope to show that each nanocar actually works likes a car—that it rolls forward and backward on four wheels in a direction at right angles to its axles, rather than sliding about like a car on ice. Tour's group then turned to the next challenge: adding a motor. Starting with a molecular framework developed by scientists in the Netherlands, Tour's team created a rotating motor for the car. When the experimenters shone a specific wavelength of ultraviolet light on the motor, it spun like a paddlewheel and pushed the car forward along a gold surface. Next, Tour wants to make nanocars that can pick up and transport objects. Heroic chemistry Tour is optimistic about the technology's potential. "It's important for children to appreciate this because, in 40 or 50 years, this technology is going to begin to take off," he says. At this point, applications seem less important than the achievement itself, says materials scientist Ray Baughman. He directs the NanoTech Institute at the University of Texas at Dallas. "Even the idea of making a molecule that can roll like a car on a surface is exciting," Baughman says. "But to actually do it is remarkable. This is heroic chemistry."

Atomic Drive
Atomic Drive








Designed and Powered by HBJamaica.com™