Have you seen this adorable video?
Patrick Bennett, a Berkeley grad student, submitted this video for the Nanonation Video Contest.
Relatedly, I’ve been getting quite a few questions about nanotechnology at MIT, so I figured I might as well take this opportunity to clear up some of the more common questions:
Is there a nanotechnology major at MIT?
Not specifically. However, many of MIT’s larger departments offer courses and other opportunities to focus on nanotechnology. The primary majors connected to nanotechnology are Mechanical Engineering, Biological Engineering, and Materials Science and Engineering (Courses 2, 20, and 3) – but Physics (Course 8) and Computer Science and Electrical Engineering (Course 6) are also closely related.
Can I get involved in nanotechnology at MIT?
Absolutely! In addition to taking classes, the best way to become part of the nanotechnology movement is to get a UROP at one of the many laboratories conducting nanotech research. Here’s a few of the nanotech labs I’m aware of:
The Laboratory for Multiscale Regenerative Technologies, led by Professor Sangeeta Bhatia, uses nanotechnology to develop new techniques for tissue repair and regeneration. The lab has a particular emphasis on liver disease and cancer.
The BioInstrumentation Lab, which Melis ’08 worked in as an undergrad, is also involved in some nanotechnology projects, including things like nanowires that could be used as intravascular neural electrodes.
Professor Matt Lang’s lab, which focuses on biophysics, works with nanoscale phenomena regularly. Thanks to the magic of single molecule fluorescence and optical tweezers, researchers in the Lang Lab can manipulate molecules with nanometer precision (and with piconewtons of force!).
The Institute for Soldier Nanotechnologies focuses on using nanotechnology to improve military technology – everything from hi-tech battle suits to new medical treatments.
Space Nanotechnology Lab and NanoStructures Lab both work on some of the more physics-oriented applications of nanotechnology, such as nanoscale fabrication, nanomagnetics, and scanning-electron-beam lithography. The lab features a combination of professors and students from Mechanical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Aero/Astro, and Physics.
Finally, Melis ’08 wrote a great great entry on nanotechnology last year, and it’s still quite relevant. Check it out!
What other types of research do you want to hear about?