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No Small Matter: Science on the Nanoscale

By: Felice C Frankel and George M Whitesides

192 pages, 100 color illustrations

Belknap Press

Hardback | Nov 2009 | #182446 | ISBN-13: 9780674035669
Availability: Usually dispatched within 5 days Details
NHBS Price: £25.95 $32/€29 approx

About this book

A small revolution is remaking the world. The only problem is, we can't see it. This book uses dazzling images and evocative descriptions to reveal the virtually invisible realities and possibilities of nanoscience. An introduction to the science and technology of small things, "No Small Matter" explains science on the nanoscale. Authors Felice C. Frankel and George M. Whitesides offer an overview of recent scientific advances that have given us our ever-shrinking microtechnology - for instance, an information processor connected by wires only 1,000 atoms wide. They describe the new methods used to study nanostructures, suggest ways of understanding their often bizarre behavior, and outline their uses in technology.

This book explains the various means of making nanostructures and speculates about their importance for critical developments in information processing, computation, biomedicine, and other areas. "No Small Matter" considers both the benefits and the risks of nano/microtechnology - from the potential of quantum computers and single-molecule genomic sequencers to the concerns about self-replicating nanosystems. By making the practical and probable realities of nanoscience as comprehensible and clear as possible, the book provides a unique vision of work at the very boundaries of modern science.

Seemingly invisible objects such as viruses and molecules are imaged in rich detail through high-powered microscopes and photography. Science News 20091121 Whitesides, a professor at Harvard University, is one of the most productive chemists in the world and arguably one of the most inventive. He brings this spirit to the book, an entertaining jaunt through the world of the micro- and nanoscale. The short essays, each dripping with enthusiasm for the topic, are roughly themed around the importance of scientific endeavour on this scale to such areas as medicine, modern computing and the quantum world. It's not just the text that playfully explores some of the stranger aspects of the invisible world. Frankel's photography can be equally creative, most obviously in a photo of a quantum apple with a shadow that appears to belong to a cube. The pictures are a mix of traditional photography, CGI and images produced using various microscopic techniques, and are dazzling in the best coffee-table tradition. The text is just as vibrant, which makes cover-to-cover reading a slightly exhausting experience--but worth it when it rewards the reader with such gems as why young children at a party behave like cellular molecules, or how Beethoven had much in common with plants. -- Colin Barras New Scientist 20091114 No Small Matter conveys science on the nanoscale through a remarkable series of photographs...This is a brilliant book that will help a wide readership to appreciate the wonders of the very small. -- Andrew Briggs Times Higher Education 20091210 Reorienting our eye to the nanoscale is No Small Matter. This coffee-table book juxtaposes images and ideas to encapsulate the significance of size and shape...Exploring where art meets science, the authors search for promising paths to make small-scale science more intuitive...Frankel and Whiteside's book adds gravitas and nuance to the popularization of nanotechnology, articulating its interest and vast opportunities. -- Jeremy Baumberg Nature 20091217 No Small Matter: Science on the Nanoscale by Felice C. Frankel and George M. Whitesides shows a world that is beyond our senses and reality. Through text, beautiful pictures, and illustrations, No Small Matter shows the small and (some of) the large things that we are ignorant about or take for granted. -- Edmond Woychowsky 20100104 [Frankel and Whitesides] present a game, insightful attempt to illustrate reality at the very smallest scales, where lengths are measured in billionths of a meter...Frankel's intricate work reveals a world of unexpected textures and landscapes...This visual and intellectual treat is best absorbed at leisure, with ample time for pondering the new relationships each topic reveals. Publishers Weekly 20100125 A book that's elegant in appearance, elegant in its images of the nanoworld and elegant in prose. -- Robert Fulford National Post 20100406

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Felice C. Frankel is Senior Research Fellow in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Harvard University. George M. Whitesides is Woodford L. and Ann A. Flowers University Professor, Harvard University.

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