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Nanotechnology and Quantum Mechanics

Nanotechnology and Quantum Mechanics
« on: 02 September , 2019, 20:54:17 pm »
Hello everyone!
I've seen that Javier has talked about quantum mechanics in the 'What is Nanotechnology?' section. I think it's a topic that deserves its own section and that's why I'm opening it.

Quantum mechanics is a branch of physics that focuses on the study of matter and describes the functioning of the world at very tiny scales. Its discovery was one of the most important in all history, since without it the electronics wouldn’t have been discovered nor indispensable materials in our lives.

We have always been taught that particles have a volume; that we can describe how their position evolves over time; that they have their own and inherent characteristics such as a mass, spin, charges…; and especially that their position can be determined. For the basis of quantum theory it’s practically impossible to know the location and exact moment of a particle.

In an atom, the energy value of each electron must be specific, it can only be at a certain distance from the nucleus and can only have certain values, in other words, the energy is 'quantized'. This phenomenon cannot be distinguished with the naked eye, but it can be in the nano world. In a nanometric view there are 'very few' atoms, therefore we can observe this property.

The future of quantum physics is related to nanotechnology, they practically go hand in hand. This future is linked to quantum computing (computers able to carry out operations at dizzying speeds with a large storage space), secret code encryption, cryptography ..., in most of these areas they need a manipulation of atoms nanometrically specific.

What's your opinion about it?
I'm looking forward to hear them

All the best,
Laia ;)

Re: Nanotechnology and Quantum Mechanics
« Reply #1 on: 04 September , 2019, 12:52:48 pm »
Hello Laia!

As you have already introduced, nanotechnology is based essentially on taking advantage of this physics where particles behave in a completely different way that in our macroscopical world. Laia has already talked about some of the fundamental principles of quantum physics: energy has only discrete values and Heisenberg's Inderteminacy Principle. However, this topic has plenty of other things to be exposed and explained and I would like to encourage you to continue researching about quantum mechanics. Therefore, I propose you some questions related with the topic that would surely guide you while researching:

  • How particles(corpuscles) and waves behave in quantum mechanics? What are the consecuences of this behaviour?
  • Can you explain why Schrödinger's cat paradox has a really close relationship with quantum mechanics?
  • Can you think or find example of how these discoveries have been used in order to develop nanotechnology? I would specially appreciate related with our specific investigation topic: applications of nanotechnology for energy and enviroment.

Kind regards,
Javier Herrero, Veteran.