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Nanotechnology: A Minor that's Anything But
For more information on this story contact:
Email:Marcia Goodrich
Phone:906/487-2343


March 14, 2005--Next fall, Michigan Tech students will have a chance to think small. Very, very small.

The university is launching a new minor in nanotechnology, letting students in virtually all majors explore one of the hottest fields in science and engineering.

"It's about design on the same scale as nature," says John Jaszczak, an associate professor of physics. "The most complex design we know of is the biochemistry of life, and that is the scale of nanotechnology. We work at the molecular level."

"At the nanoscale, interesting things start to happen," says Bruce Seely, chair of the Department of Social Sciences. "Physical properties work differently. And that's where the excitement comes from."

Worldwide, scientists and engineers are beginning to build tiny structures, atom by atom, in fields ranging from defense to medicine. Because nanotechnology has such huge potential, with applications in engineering, the sciences, social sciences and the humanities, the minor is an excellent fit for students pursuing almost any bachelor's degree. In particular, students will be introduced to nanotechnology's societal and ethical implications, an aspect of the minor that's critical in a discipline with such revolutionary promise.

Students minoring in nanotechnology will co-op with MTU researchers probing nano frontiers in areas ranging from photonics to mechanical engineering.

"For years, there's been a push to build things smaller, faster and cheaper, and under the old way of doing things, we're running into barriers," Jaszczak said.

Seely agreed. "We need new ways of thinking. Nanotechnology is taking us there, and now Michigan Tech students can be part of it."

For more information on Michigan Tech's minor in nanotechnology, visit http://www.nano.mtu.edu or contact Seely (bseely@mtu.edu, 906-487-2113) or Jaszczak (jaszczak@mtu.edu, 906-487-2255).

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