20 Dec Nanotech exhibit opens at UW-Madison
Madison, Wis. — Imagining the effects of being able to manipulate materials just atoms at a time got a bit easier with the opening of Exploring the Nanoworld, an exhibit on display at the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Engineering Centers Building.
University researchers hope efforts such as this one can make nanotechnology, the study of things on a scale of individual atoms and molecules, easier to grasp.
“Figuring out how to talk about this is hard … it’s only once we come to a more complete understanding of the ideas that we can communicate naturally,” said Wendy Crone, education and outreach coordinator for the university’s Materials Research Science and Engineering Center.
University researchers worked with Milwaukee’s Discovery World Museum to build the exhibit, which could serve as a prototype for larger ones in a planned new museum.
The semi-permanent display is a way of testing modular exhibits, Crone said. When the museum builds its new location on the shores of Lake Michigan in Milwaukee, the UW team hopes their work on nanotechnology will provide a prominent and substantial educational tool.
“Many people are getting further and further away from owning the future,” said Paul Krajniak, executive director of the museum. He said outreach is a vital part of research, as otherwise people who are not in the know will be left behind.
UW-Madison nanotechnology research has been spun off into several companies, said Allen Dines, assistant director of the university’s Office of Corporate Relations. They include:
More spin-offs may be on the way, though Dines couldn’t elaborate.
The displays in the Engineering Centers Building will remain there unless special events take over the space, Crone said.
Jason Stitt is WTN’s associate editor and can be reached at email@example.com.