Faculty Advisor(s): Melloch, Reifenberger, Guo
Nanoscale science and technology has great potential for changing our lives. Despite the far reaching implications, it remains an esoteric concept riddled with fear, uncertainty and doubt. The Lego Scanning Probe Microscope (LSPM) project started as an Engineering Projects in Community Service (EPICS) team in the Fall of 2004. The aim of the project was to create a large scale model of a scanning probe microscope with a LEGO theme, drawing on the analogy between LEGO bricks and atoms. This was to be used to educate the layperson on the basic concepts that drive nanotechnology and some of the technologies that are being implemented.
The LSPM team for the Summer Undergraduate Research Internship (SURI) was put together to create animated educational material to complement the LSPM.
The method adopted for the project comprised two stages. In the first stage, various technologies and industries being influenced by nanotechnology were investigated. The field was further narrowed to those which were relevant to everyday lives and not just of academic interest. Memory was chosen as it was becoming an increasingly important component of the electronic and computational devices that are now an integral part of our lives.
The next stage was to present the technology behind high density memory and some examples of its applications using animations. Animations are easy to design, flexible, customizable and appealing to a broad range of audiences. Some basic understanding of physics and chemistry was assumed, but the main concepts were discussed in the animations.
The results will first be published on the LSPM website and possibly available on CD-ROM for low-bandwidth users. A prototype animation was made earlier in the year and was met with positive feedback from a wide variety of individuals.
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