Nanotubes have been billed as the key to curing cancer, building space elevators, and creating real-world Spidermen. Whether they're totally tubular or just an overhyped pipe dream remains to be seen.
by Eliza Strickland
published online August 6, 2009
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Oh carbon nanotubes, is there anything you can't do?
Nanotubes can be envisioned as one-atom thick sheets of carbon that have been rolled into tubes. Researchers know that when things get that small, they act a little weird, and labs around the world are now racing to capitalize on nanotubes' strange properties. With their extraordinary strength and fascinating knack for conducting electricity and heat, nanotubes are finding applications in everything from cancer treatments to hydrogen cars. These structures of carbon may be tiny—a nanotube's diameter is about 10,000 times smaller than a human hair—but their impact on science and technology has been enormous.
Here, we count down nine of the most enticing possibilities for these giants on the Lilliputian stage. They probably won't all pan out, but if nanotubes fulfill just a few of these predictions, they'll be worth the buzz. SEE LINK FOR 9 ways...