Question Sheet: Atomic Drive


Before reading:

  1. What does the prefix “nano” mean? 
  2. What is nanotechnology? See (University of Wisconsin).

During reading:

  1. How big is a nanocar? 
  2. What was chemist James Tour’s inspiration for building nanocars? 
  3. How do termites illustrate what nanocars could do someday? 
  4. Describe the wheels of a nanocar. 
  5. What are some possible uses of nanocars? 
  6. Where is the NanoTech Institute located?

After reading:

  1. Besides the uses mentioned in this article, what other future applications

    for nanocars can you imagine? What could you do if you owned a fleet of


  2. James Tour and his coworkers used a molecular paddlewheel to power their

    nanocar. In what other ways might you power such a small vehicle? 

  3. What does a nanotechnologist do? See (University of Wisconsin).


Who was Richard Feynman? When did he live? Why was a U.S. postage stamp issued in his honor? What role did he play in the development of nanotechnology? See (National Nanotechnology Initiative).


Compare the article written by Emily Sohn for Science News for Kids with the press release at (Rice University). How are the articles different? What do you learn in Emily’s article that you don’t learn in the other one and vice versa? Which article do you prefer to read? Why?


If a nanocar is 4 nanometers long, 3 nanometers wide, and 1.5 nanometers high, how many nanocars would fit into a cubic centimeter?