Field of Science

Weird Words of Science 7: nano dreams

Orac is dreaming of an iPod nano.

Where does nano come from? The root comes from the Greek for dwarf. The prefix was formally adopted in the late 1940s to mean 10-9, as in a nanometer. The construction had been floating around since the early part of the 20th century. The OED catalogs the first appearance in English in nanphanerophyte (a small shrub), but the French were using it about 50 years earlier.

Nano along now carries the connotation of the very small, typically on the nanometer scale. A bond between two carbon atoms is about 1/10 of a nanometer.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Markup Key:
- <b>bold</b> = bold
- <i>italic</i> = italic
- <a href="">FoS</a> = FoS