Nano Day 2020: A nanoscale view of the pandemic

On 10/9, we're taking measure of COVID-19 challenges and solutions in nanometers

October 9 is National Nanotechnology Day—the day that celebrates the potency of the world at the scale of one nanometer, 10-9 or one billionth of a meter.

Every year, we celebrate 10/9 to shine a light on the potential of nanoscale discoveries and innovations to build a better world. This year a tiny virus measuring just nanometers in size holds the world in its grip. To mark Nano Day 2020, therefore, we’re sharing a nanometer-sized window into the pandemic.

The scale at which the COVID challenge originates is the same scale from which its solutions will emerge. Today, across MIT and in the laboratories of MIT.nano, scientists and doctors, engineers and innovators, students and scholars are using their understanding of the nanoscale to make a difference right now.

With our wishes for a happy—and healthy—Nano Day, below are some of the ways that MIT is helping to make sense of the pandemic and to blunt its effects, one nanometer at a time.

>>View the complete list in this downloadable PDF.

a four section grid

>>See our list of sources.

Why are nanometers important?

Scientists and engineers working at the nanoscale use their knowledge to design and build just like nature does: atom by atom and molecule by molecule. These tiny particles have a huge impact! Nanoscience researchers are working on renewable energy, medical improvements, new materials for advanced manufacturing, faster computers, cleaner environments, and more.

Run 100 billion nanometers to celebrate!

The U.S. National Nanotechnology Initiative is encouraging individuals to run 100 billion nanometers on Nano Day. That's a 100-meter dash! Share in the fun on social media by using the hashtags #100BillionNanometers and #NationalNanoDay.

You can also follow and tag us on Instagram (@MIT.nano) and Twitter (@mit_nano). We'd love to see you taking measure of the nanoscale!