The distance between the Earth and the Moon is km 380,000 approximately, slighty over one third of a billion metres. The “nano” dimension keeps that same ratio, but in the opposite direction: using the world around us as a starting point and the metre as our common unit of measurement, we enter a universe where phenomena are measured in billionths of a metre. This impressive image is the opening scene of a fascinating scientific documentary entitled Nano, the Next Dimension, produced by the French company Ex-Nihilo on behalf of the European Union. Nanotechnology works on an astonishingly small scale. It deals with chemistry, physics and medicine, and its highly diversified applications often span multiple disciplines. Jean-Marie Lehn, who won the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1987, tells the audience about this new science that promises to revolutionize and improve our while at the same time arousing fear and suspicion among non-experts. The documentary features virtual images, comments by distinguished European scientists and visits to laboratories where the future seems to be nearer than expected. The amazing achievements of nanotechnology include scratch-proof car doors and sunglasses, fire-proof straw and wood, water-proof paper tissues. And there's more. Nanotechnology is now being implemented in IT and is being used to manufacture new materials that are hard as steel and light as aluminum, as well as molecular robots capable of transforming matter. The Italian viewpoint is provided by Carlo Taliani, from the National Research Council in Bologna.
Winner of the first prize in the Scientific and popular scientific films under 30 min section at TechFilm 2003.