Nano: The Spectacular Science of the Very (Very) Small

Publisher: Walker Books

Everything in life is made out of a material – there are lots of different kinds, but all of those materials are made from atoms, from air to water to chocolate to phones and even bodies.

Scientists working with atoms have now discovered ways to work at the nano level, which means that they can create nanomaterials that can help us in lots of different ways, from making lighter aeroplanes that need less fuel to stay in the sky, to tiny medicines that doctors can steer through your body with machines.

Being able to work with tiny things at the level of the atom means that as well as creating amazing new nanomaterials, scientists are working on other amazing tiny inventions, such as sieves that would clean plastic particles from the seas or make nano computer chips, which could help people who have lost their sight to see again.

This fascinating introduction to nanotechnology is surprisingly helpful and straightforward in introducing children to the idea of atoms without being confusing. There isn’t too much scientific detail, and the book concentrates on explaining the principle that everything is made from tiny atoms, and that working at this tiny level could well be the way forward for many improvements to the world.

Combined with Melissa Castrillon’s colourful illustration that explodes across the pages in a riot of beauty, this makes for an exciting and hopeful book about a lesser-known area of science for younger readers. Though the text level is quite young, children will need help with the longer scientific words.

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