# Can macroscale objects, like scissors, be used on the nanoscale?

MOD 8 D1

An important principle of nanotechnology is the size of objects and systems. The meter (m) is the basic unit of length in the metric system, and a nanometer is one billionth of a meter. It is easy for us to visualize a meter, which is approximately 3 feet. But it is not so easy to visualize a nanometer. It is a scale so different from what we are used to that it is difficult to comprehend.

First:

Nanosense: Visualizing the Nanoscale
Nanosense scale diagram
Cutting It Down to Nano chart
Familiarize yourself with these interactive websites about the size of objects. We hope you will explore both sites, but one is sufficient:

The scale of the universe
Powers of 10
Once this tutorial has completely downloaded, a set of the arrows will appear that allow the user to increase or decrease the view magnitude in Manual mode. Try different browsers if you have trouble with this link.

Next, for this exercise you will need a piece of paper,a ruler with millimeters, and a pair of scissors:

Cut a piece of paper to be 150mm x 5mm.
Guess how many times you would have to cut the paper in half to make a piece 10 nanometers long. Record your guess.
Guess how many times you can cut the paper in half before it becomes impossible to cut with the scissors. Record your guess.
Begin cutting the strip of paper lengthwise and continue cutting it in half as many times as you can. Keep track of the number of cuts you make.
Once you have made as many cuts as possible, measure the dimensions of the paper.

How many times did you actually cut the paper?
Did you accurately predict the number of cuts required?
How close was the smallest piece to the nanoscale?
Why did you have to stop cutting?
Can macroscale objects, like scissors, be used on the nanoscale?
Can you think of any way to cut the paper any smaller?

Once you have posted your own discussion response, you are required to comment on the posts of at least two of your classmates. You can agree or disagree with their posts, but you must explain why you have chosen to do so. Remember, if you provide a quotation from a source (i.e., your textbook or the Internet), you must include the correct citation and reference. Also, be sure to read the feedback on your own major postings and reply to it throughout the module.
Attachments:
application/pdf iconm8d1_cutting_it_down_to_nano.pdf
application/pdf iconm8d1_nanosense_scale_diagram.pdf
application/pdf iconm8d1_visualizing_the_nanoscale.pdf

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