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Paul Alivisatos Interview - Where will the field of nanoscience be in 50 years time?

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In 50 years time? That’s a long time! Can you imagine thinking about 1958... ...versus 2008 where we are in science – there’s so many changes. That’s a difficult question to predict. Look, I hope that we will learn, eventually, to build complex materials built out of... ...nanoparticles and other kinds of nanoscale components. If we look at the human body, it’s the most complex material system that we know of in the world. It has spatial organization on every length scale, from atoms to meters. All those length scales have very specific organization. There are molecules, macromolecules, there’s substructures inside a cell, there’s cells and so on, all the way up to organs and whole organisms. It’s organized on every length scale, and the functional units are nanoscale. They tend to be proteins and other macromolecules... ...that are a few nanometers in size. The fact that now we can make nanomaterials ourselves, means that we should be able to build materials... ...where we have special designed organization... ...on every scale from atoms all the way up to meters. If we do that and we really make things of that level of complexity, the functions that we can achieve are probably... ...much greater than the materials that we make today. So I think, in 50 years time, we should be able to make materials... ...that do some of the amazing things we see biological systems doing, but we will have made them ourselves out of artificial components... ...and therefore they could have different properties. That’s the prospect that makes people very interested in this field... ...and there’s a good chance that we will get there in 50 years time. I sure hope so, because if we don’t, we have other problems we have to worry about... terms of making a sustainable use of the resources on the planet and so on. I think it’s connected. Yeah.

Video Details

Duration: 2 minutes and 29 seconds
Country: Sweden
Language: English
Producer: MoleClues TV
Director: Per Thoren
Views: 106
Posted by: locumele on Jan 18, 2010

Professor Paul Alivisatos interviewed for MoleClues. Entire interview available on

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