- Nanotechnology Area
Wednesday, 3rd of March
A real research lab at the Museum
Have you ever handled an atom?
Did you know that you're a nano?
Have you ever looked for the nano-world?
The National Museum of Science and Technology opens a new Nanotechnology Area. This is a real research lab where visitors can observe researchers at work, ask questions and approach the cutting edge and fast growing area of nanotechnology.
Visitors will have the opportunity to observe scientists at work, interact with them and discover the world of nanotechnology through nano products, interactive exhibits, audiovisual facilities and educational activities. Visitors are invited to come to the museum and "disturb" the researchers, to understand what is nanotechnology and express their point of view.
The applications of nanotechnology research are numerous and diverse.
In the Open Nano Lab at the National Museum of Science and Technology, CIMAINA researchers will study the properties of some nanostructured materials such as titanium dioxide and carbon, determining which electrochemical reactions occur on their surface and how these processes are influenced by light. These nanomaterials can be applied in different devices: for example in photovoltaic cells for producing electricity from sunlight, in supercapacitors that store electrical energy or in cells for the production or exploitation of hydrogen.
When and how to visit the Nanotechnology Area
The area will be open to visitors during Museum opening hours and in accordance with the researchers’ work, during the week and during a number of weekends (first open weekend: 6-7 March). Access is free with museum tickets.
The initiative stems from a collaboration between the Museum and CIMAINA, the Interdisciplinary Centre for Nanostructured Materials and Interfaces of the University of Milan - a national point of reference for research on nanotechnology.
The nanotechnology area is created within the Project NanoToTouch funded by the Seventh Framework Program of the European Union - Science in Society Action.
The project aims to create innovative environments in which non-specialist visitors can discover and discuss aspects of the research on nanotechnology. Researchers "step out" of universities to bring their research environment, labs and work in science museums and science centres in contact with the public.
Three European science museums and three science centres cooperate closely with universities to create three Open Nano Labs (science laboratories open to the public) and three Nano Researcher Live areas (areas where one can meet researchers and understand their research). The Open Nano Labs are located in Munich, Milan and Gothenburg, while the research areas are in Mechelen, Tartu and Naples.
All the young researchers involved in the project have been specially trained by the National Museum of Science and Technology to face this innovative communication strategy.
In the case of Milan, the Museum and CIMAINA have jointly developed a project for a laboratory that will combine close a contact between researchers and the public with the regular progress of research.