The World of the Tiniest Building Blocks

Rui F. M. Lobo, Mário J. Pinheiro

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


In this new scientific and technological era, nanophysics is all about manipulating and controlling at the nanoscale stable entities, whose size ranges from atoms to nano-objects and nanostructures. It uses of knowledge from several fields of physics to perform and interpret experiments with those nano-objects (or nanostructures) and probe them. Nature constitutes an inspiration because it is full of nanoscopic architectures that support the essential functions of forms (from viruses to whales and galaxies). This chapter will overview the assembling functional units out of tiny building blocks. Nanotechnology uses of such background for building tools allowing to characterize and modify those stable entities, with the purpose of overcoming several technological challenges. Both in bottom-up and top-down strategies, one can deal with techniques where matter is transformed from any of its common states, including plasmas. Nanotechnology also overlaps with other disciplines closely related with physics (chemistry, biosciences, materials) and is fundamentally different from traditional materials science because it deals with manipulation and physical control at the nano-level. The synthesis of materials starts after the nano-synthesis of crucial components that could act as elementary building blocks. This is a noteworthy point that should not be overlooked in nanoscience epistemology.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAdvanced Topics in Contemporary Physics for Engineering
Subtitle of host publicationNanophysics, Plasma Physics, and Electrodynamics
Place of PublicationFlorida
PublisherCRC Press | Taylor & Francis
Number of pages53
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-003-28508-3
ISBN (Print)978-1-032-24763-2
Publication statusPublished - 2022


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