Center for Probing the Nanoscale: An NSF Nanoscale Science and Engineering Center
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Undergraduate Education

The Center for Probing the Nanoscale currently offers a course designed to introduce science majors to nanoscale science and research.

The Tools of Nanotechnology (Applied Physics 78Q)
Description: Rapid advancements in the last decade have allowed us to visualize and manipulate matter at an unprecedented scale. The emerging fields of nanotechnology and nanoscale science have developed tools to manipulate structures ranging from individual atoms to particles one hundred thousand times finer than a human hair. How do we visualize such tiny objects? How do the properties of matter change at the interface between the macroscopic world and the domain of quantum mechanics?  How can we possibly measure and control phenomena at this scale?  This course will cover important advances in nanoscale science and technology with an emphasis on nanoscale imaging and manipulation tools.  Students will experience the excitement of cutting-edge research and probe behind the buzz-words to the science underneath.  Our focus will highlight the work of Stanford researchers and culminate in lab tours to get a first-hand view of the nuts-and-bolts of nanoscience research.  In addition to lectures and lab tours, there will be hands-on activities that use nanoprobe models, such as the magnetic force microscope, to impart an intuitive understanding of how these tools work.

The physics of One: nanoscale science and technology (Physics 87N)
Description: Preference to freshmen. Interdisciplinary research in nanoscience and nanotechnology: the manipulation of nature's fundamental building blocks. The accomplishments and questions engendered by the pursuit of knowledge at the discrete limit of matter. Prerequisite: high school physics. (Manoharan)

Undergraduates also play a prominent role in CPN research activities. Most of the Center Investigators currently have undergraduate research students. Funds for CPN-related undergraduate research can come from several sources including the IBM Research Summer Intern Program, Stanford’s Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education (VPUE) Faculty Grants for Undergraduate Research, the Summer Research College in the Stanford Physics Department, and existing REU programs at the Stanford Electrical Engineering Department and the Stanford Nanofabrication Facility. We believe CPN’s integrated research and educational programs are a strong draw for undergraduates with interests in both science and society.

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