Book makes nanotech accessible to smaller readers

Mar 07, 2011
Dr. Moon Kim wrote A Day With Nano with his wife, Sun Song.

Although Dr. Moon Kim's zeal for nanotechnology springs in part from years of research into the structural characterization of advanced electronic materials, he doesn’t see why kids shouldn’t be exhilarated by the very small as well.

Now he’s taken two steps to help make that happen, writing a primer for kids and starting an internship program that brings them into his lab for weeks at a time.

Written in Korean and with the English translation just recently completed, “A Day With Nano” takes a wide-ranging view of nanotechnology. He wrote it in collaboration with his wife, Sun Song, and it touches not only on Kim’s own research but also on applications such as robotic surgery, micro-needles for painless injections, smart windows that adapt to outdoor conditions, nano cosmetics and self-healing paint that prevents the development of rust.

“I actually learned quite a bit by doing research for this, and it’s given me new ideas about additional laboratory research to pursue,” said Kim, a professor of materials science and engineering in the University’s Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science.

And although the primary audience comprises elementary- and secondary-school students, he says he sees a need to spread the word further as well.

“The reason we do so much of our research is to make everyone’s lives better, and we need public support for that,” he said. “As a professor, education is a big part of my job, and that includes the general public, so the more that both kids and their parents understand and support what we do, the better it is for everyone.”

In December, the book was named one of the top science books of the year by the Korea Foundation for the Advancement of Science and Creativity. And in January, the second stage of Kim’s efforts began when three high school students and a teacher from South Korea participated in his new Nano Intern Program.

Participants applied for the program through his book’s publisher and a major South Korean Web portal, and then they were thoroughly immersed in nanotechnology for three weeks. That included hands-on experience here in his UT Dallas labs and field trips to area science museums and UT Southwestern Medical Center.

But that was just the start, he said. He plans to have additional interns from South Korea visit annually and launch a summer internship program for domestic students as soon as 2012. In the meantime, negotiations are about to get under way for an English edition of his book, and he has blogged for a South Korean audience about the book and internship program.

Explore further: Breakthrough in flexible electronics enabled by inorganic-based laser lift-off

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

U.S., S. Koreans team for research

Nov 23, 2007

A nanotechnology study will span the United States and the Pacific Ocean as University of Delaware professors team with South Korean counterparts.

Kids learn nanotechnology at Nanoworld

Feb 21, 2006

Elementary school children across the United States have been learning about incomprehensibly tiny things in an exhibition created by Cornell University.

Recommended for you

Protons fuel graphene prospects

16 hours ago

Graphene, impermeable to all gases and liquids, can easily allow protons to pass through it, University of Manchester researchers have found.

Cooling with the coldest matter in the world

Nov 24, 2014

Physicists at the University of Basel have developed a new cooling technique for mechanical quantum systems. Using an ultracold atomic gas, the vibrations of a membrane were cooled down to less than 1 degree ...

Magnetic fields and lasers elicit graphene secret

Nov 24, 2014

Scientists at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have studied the dynamics of electrons from the "wonder material" graphene in a magnetic field for the first time. This led to the discovery of ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.