Ye Fang, a graduate student in computer engineering at LSU, held a magnet to a dollar bill clipped to a stand Saturday at the Highland Road Park Observatory. Slowly, the dollar bill moved toward the magnet, eventually touching it.
The ink used to print U.S. currency contains a metallic liquid called ferrofluid, Fang said, to prevent counterfeiting, and he had tubes of the black liquid in sealed test tubes to show families at the sixth annual NanoDays.
It was one of several examples graduate students from multiple disciplines at LSU used to demonstrate the advances made possible by nanotechnologies.
John Mathaga, who is studying chemistry, demonstrated how an electric current can be used to remove the copper plating from a penny and transfer it to a nickel, which 9-year-old Sterlin Tate, at NanoDays with his dad, David, watched, smiling, before they lined up for the only non-nano event of the day — the solar viewing.
NanoDays is a nationwide festival of programs meant to demonstrate the power of tiny things, said Juana Moreno, associate professor of both the Center for Computation and Technology and the Physics and Astronomy Department at LSU. Moreno said attendance is pretty good every year, and this year, about 100 people came through the exhibits.
In addition to the ferrofluid demonstration, children and their parents explored the nano world with a scanning probe microscope, learned how stain-free clothes are made and heard about the work of Michal Brylinski, a nanoscientist and professor in the LSU Department of Biological Sciences who is researching ways to kill bacteria on a nanoscale.
NanoDays sponsors include the LSU Department of Physics and Astronomy, the Center for Computation and Technology, the Department of Chemistry, the Society of Physics Students and the Louisiana Alliance for Simulation-Guided Materials Applications.
For more information about LSU NanoDays at the Highland Road Observatory, visit www.bro.lsu.edu/programs/nano.html.