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Posted: February 4, 2010

The first comprehensive nanoscience textbook ever assembled

(Nanowerk News) Stuart Lindsay, an ASU Regents’ Professor and director of the Biodesign Institute’s Center for Single Molecule Biophysics, has released the first comprehensive guide to a tiny world 1 million times smaller than a single grain of sand.
Providing readers with an overview of an emerging discipline which has in recent years produced remarkable achievements in areas as varied as DNA sequencing, molecular machinery, nanocrystals and microscopy, “Introduction to Nanoscience” (Oxford University Press) offers researchers worldwide a first-of-its kind, all-inclusive treatment of nanoscience.
In discussing the impetus for the book, Lindsay said that his far-flung research has always been coupled with a passion for teaching biophysical concepts to talented students. As a result, the book integrates several disciplines and spans basic quantum phenomena, tools of the trade and nanoscale applications, and always returns to the theme of emergent behavior – how minute fluctuations at the nanoscale level can result in the appearance of striking, often unanticipated new phenomena.
The book is an outgrowth of the professor’s lectures in nanoscience, refined over many years, with invaluable input from his students. After learning of the course and believing it would make a fine resource, Oxford University Press requested that Lindsay assemble the material into a book.
“What is so striking is that events occurring at the nanoscale have implications for chemistry, biology, physics, materials science, engineering, you name it,” Lindsay said. “Nonetheless, the nanorealm lacked a textbook that could draw together the field’s disparate elements. It’s sort of remarkable that the knowledge was not there in a collected way. I put together a course that was very comprehensive, starting with physics and ending with biology.”
Given the breakneck pace of scientific advance, particularly in nanoscience, Lindsay faced a daunting challenge.
“I knew that some current issues in the field would become obsolete by the time my fingers left the keyboard,” he said.
Hoping to produce a work that could remain relevant, Lindsay chose to include a wealth of fundamental principles that would be broadly applicable, regardless of the novel conditions students were likely to encounter in the future.
“Introduction to Nanoscience” is a vital contribution to one of the most dynamic fields, geared toward inspiring a new type of young investigator: one steeped in a multidisciplinary scientific culture.
“This differently trained and diverse group of talented young people are not only going to produce scientific breakthroughs in their own rights, they’re also the people who are going to start the next generation of companies that generate wealth and drive the national economy,” Lindsay said. “They’re going to create new things with their brains because they’ve learned new ways to think.”
Source: Arizona State University
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