Date : Thursday, April 5, 2001
Time : 7:30 PM
Location: Willet Hall Auditorium, Mercer University

Professor Mara Prentiss
Department of Physics
Harvard University

"The Nano-Universe: Challenges and Opportunities of Really Small Things"

Abstract: Very small things do not behave like shrunken versions of larger objects. Tables and chairs that seem solid and connected on the large scale, become tiny atoms separated by enormous voids. Liquids that flow easily on large scales become almost impossible to move. Quantum mechanical particles acquire fuzzy boundaries and can suddenly transform from a collection of individual particles, to one single particle when the particles are close enough that the fuzzy boundaries overlap. Strategies for manipulating and exploiting very small particles will be described, including tractor beams that can stop an atom moving at supersonic speed in a distance of less than a foot. "