Monthly Archives: May 2013

Nanotechnology Quiz I – Basic Level

Abstract molecular nanostructure model

This is the beginning in a series of quizzes on Nanoscience that I created. Just click on the START QUIZ button below – there are 10 questions worth 1 point each.

I have developed these nanotechnology quizzes as I am dissatisfied with the current ones found on the Internet. They are often either needlessly specific (“what is the patent number for the nanomagnetic product being worked on by Rice University as a cure for hangovers”) or are outdated as advances have been made since the quiz was published. Also, I hate multiple choice problems where they give you three silly options and one obviously correct answer. The goal should be to make you think carefully and to really test your knowledge.

And if you are up to the challenge for tougher quizzes on nanotechnology, please check out:

Enjoy! – Joel-Anthony Gray

Nanoscience Quiz - Basic Level

A Quiz on Nanoscience – Basic Level I

Nanotechnolgy Book Reviews by Joel-Anthony Gray

Nanotechnology is one of the most paradigm changing and exciting fields to come along in the history of materials science. The amount of information and research in this field has increased astronomically in the past 10-15 years and I started this site to guide everyone from children to scientists to a better path of understanding the principles, implications and applications of nanoscience.

I feel it is important to structure this presentation in a certain way because I find most websites on the subject to either be too uniformly basic (a nano is one-billionth of a meter,  Dr. Feynman’s talk in 1959, etc.) or very topic specific without adequate context. To a large degree, this is the nature of nanotechnology as it covers a wide breadth of disciplines while often diving into advanced physics and math concepts.

The point at which any one person could fully understand all the information available on nanotech is long since passed as nanotechnology research and journals are now published faster than what is absorbed by even a team of dedicated individuals.

While I realize that many nanotechnology books are already reviewed on Amazon, that avenue of evaluation is potentially diluted by either very vague statements by students such as “This book was really hard for me to understand” to “Great textbook!” which I don’t find detailed enough to be helpful. And in some cases, the review says more about the reviewer than the actual book. Also, some books have no reviews at all because they are so specialized.

My goal is to:

1) Review and share what I feel are the best books on the range of subjects encountered by those in the nanotechnology field including adjacent fields such as vacuum science, plasma physics, etc.

2) Develop mini-quizzes of varying difficulty while covering a multitude of areas.

3) List key concepts in a concise and accurate fashion so that a more intuitive understanding of nanotechnology is gleaned – I am now building a separate website dedicated to this effort.

My focus is heavily slanted towards bio-nanotechnology as I find this the most interesting application with the potential for the greatest impact on the quality of life. Also, it often involves multiple cross-disciplinary fields including chemistry, biology, materials science, physics, electronics, fluid dynamics, microscopy, magnetism, optics, etc.

This is for my personal benefit as well; some say you don’t really understand a subject as well until you start teaching it to others.

Introduction To Nanoscience by S.M. Lindsay

Introduction to Nanoscience by S.M. Lindsey

Oxford University Press 2010  WorldCatLibraryThingGoogle BooksBookFinder

Introduction to Nanoscience OpenLibrary Entry

Other books by S. M. Lindsay

Introduction Nanotech Lindsay

ISBN 0199544212  –  212 pages   $54.42 on Amazon  Published 2010

The title of “Introduction to Nanoscience” is deceptive as it often dives steeply from everyday analogy into deep theory with little warning. While I can appreciate giving undergrad students or laymen a taste of how little they know, the roller-coaster nature of the text can make it difficult to consistently focus on certain fundamentals.

The liberal peppering of partial differential equations regarding quantum physics and statistical kinematics also makes the beginning chapters a bit daunting to wade through, especially when the author gets so focused on mathematical descriptions that critical physical insights whiz by like the landscape from inside a bullet train.

One of the main challenges of engineering and physics texts is the fine balance between highlighting key ideas without getting lost in the broad swaths of detail. Sure, give a grand tour of everything, but keep a good map in your hand.

On the whole, I like the book, but I do not recommend it to someone who has anything less than a grad level understanding in quantum mechanics and organic chemistry.