Touching Things So Small Without Ever Touching Them: What Nanopositioners Do

Imagine that you could touch a single grain of sand or a single atom of a noble gas. Guess what? You can. Well, maybe not touch it physically with your fingertips, but still touch it another way. Scientists use machines called nanopositioners to touch very small things without ever physically touching them. Here is how, and what, nanopositioners do.

So, So Small

The word, nano, refers to something extremely tiny. Usually, people use it to describe a very short period of time, such as nano-seconds, which is even faster than a blinking eye. Positioner, of course, means that you have an instrument that places something into position. A nanopositioner, then, places something very, very small into position. Nanopositioners are used for dozens of applications.

Manipulating Cells and Atoms

Just about everyone has heard of in vitro fertilization. This is where the eggs are harvested from the mother and the sperm from the father, and then the sperm is injected into the egg in a lab. What most people do not realize is that you can fit millions of sperm on the head of a pin, but only one egg. The eggs are larger than sperm! In fact, you need an extra special microscope just to view sperm.

In vitro, then, is a special type of nanopositioning for biological and medical purposes. Scientists cannot see these cells without a lot of help. They also cannot manipulate them without a nanopostioner. The egg is pushed into position on a very special plate under an extra special microscope. Healthy sperm are separated from the millions of unhealthy sperm in the same way. Then a healthy sperm is "positioned" and injected into the egg artificially. None of that could be done if the cells could not be separated and positioned for unification without a nanopositioner.

Atoms and molecules are positioned in the same way. This helps scientists determine if various reactions and combinations of atoms/molecules of elements can work together without extreme volatility, or if they will produce a desired effect. They spend hours in labs working with nanopositioners to develop everything from medicines to theories about the universe.

Nanopositioner Software

Additionally, the nanopositioner software for sale helps scientists give the nanopositioners very specific instructions. The software used tells the nanopositioners how to move the matter on the test plate, and how far to position it in a specified direction. The scientists only have to plug in the correct information, measurements, and formulas in order to get the nanopositioner to do what the scientists expect it to: touch really small things without ever touching them.

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