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58 IntroSems. 25 Stanford fountains. 1 Spring 2020. Don’t suffer from FoHo FoMo!
Introductory Seminars for First-Year Students
What Is Nanotechnology?
Nanotechnology means different things to different people. Although those in the science and engineering world have some notion of what nanotechnology is, the perception from society at large may be entirely different. In this course, we start with the classic paper by Richard Feynman "There's Plenty of Room at the Bottom," which laid down a challenge to the nanotechnologists. We will introduce students to the tools of nanotechnologists and the basic elements of nanoscale science and engineering such as nanotubes, nanowires, nanoparticles, and self-assembly. We will visit nanotechnology laboratories to consolidate our learning, go into the Stanford Nanofabrication Facility (SNF), and do a three-week project on nanofabrication. Hands-on laboratory work will be introduced (e.g., lithography, seeing things at the nanoscale using electron microscopes). We will learn how to build transistors from scratch and test them. We will discuss the classic novel Prey, by Michael Crichton. Crichton's popular novel channeled the public's attention to this subject by portraying a disastrous scenario of a technology gone astray. We will use scientific knowledge to analyze the assumptions and predictions of such works.