To think big, we must think small
If we really want the cool stuff we see in Science Fiction Movies, we are going to have to train more people in nanotechnology: the manipulation of matter on an atomic, molecular and supramolecular scale. We’ve already got graphene, bendy screens, hydrophobic coatings and bandages infused with silver nanoparticles to help heal wounds faster. Those are cool. But where is Harry Potter’s invisibility cloak? Where are the sci-fi chairs that grow out of the floor and disappear when you stand up?
Nanotechnology isn’t the kind of field you can take a one-day course in and then build the future one atom at a time. This is degree stuff and then some. University College London has had boffins poring over the very small for quite a while now, and are offering the fruits of that knowledge via an MSc in Nanotechnology.
The MSc covers the electronic, optical, liquid crystal and magnetic devices on which the device dimensions (at the nanoscale) play the key role in dictating their functionality. Designed for graduates in the physical sciences and relevant engineering disciplines who want to enter this relatively new and exciting arena. It aims to provide skilled postgraduates to industries including microelectronics and healthcare, where nanotechnology has become a key discipline for innovation and development.
Core modules include (deep breath) Nanoelectronic Devices, Experimental Techniques for Nanotechnology, Nanotechnology and Society, Instrumentation and Physical Techniques in the Life Sciences, Nanoscale Processing and Characterisation for Advanced Devices, and a research project to get the Master’s. Optional Modules include Nanotechnology and Healthcare, Quantum Computation and Communication (teleportation, anyone?), Molecular Biophysics, Plastic and Molecular Electronics, and other really exciting subjects.
The future is now. Let’s just hurry it up a bit.