From microworld to nanoworld
Wednesday, April 25

On Wednesday, April 25 at Città della Scienza will be possible to investigate the microworld of leafcutter ants. These particular ants originating in the rainforest of Costa Rica are hosted in our Science Centre since several months in a large anthill. After an initial period of adaptation, the small community of ants is now well set and the nest is in full swing. It will be possible to closely observe the fungus that feeds and houses the ants and the different castes of workers, all specialized for different tasks: care for the larvae and queen, the cut the leaves, transport them to the nest, the tilling of the fungus and even the production of pesticides. Maybe you will see also the queen!

From micro to nano-world: visitors will also be guided through the technological innovations of the nanoparticles. Today man has learned to manipulate individual atoms that make up matter and to build new tools and materials with these “particles” of about few millionths of a millimeter. Very soon the practical applications of the ongoing research will revolutionize our lives, we will enjoy molecular engines, windows that do not fog up, solar panels that mimic plant photosynthesis, invisible cameras and many other objects! This nano-world does not respond to the laws of classical physics and can interact with living organisms in new and, sometimes, unpredictable ways.

There will be also educational and entertainment activities for young visitors, who can build ants in clay, analyze and reinterpret the paintings of the past.

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