A nanometer is one billionth of a meter (10 -9 meters). That’s a really tiny measurement, but it’s hard to imagine just how small it is. A nanometer isn’t just tiny in the way that a grain of sand or a speck of dust is tiny – it’s thousands of times smaller than that.
This activity helps with understanding how unbelievably small the nanoscale is. Participants are invited to try to cut a piece of paper in half until the piece of paper is just a nanometer wide, or until they can’t cut it anymore. A visual representation of the exponential decrease in the paper’s size is used to reinforce the idea that the nanoscale is much, much smaller than even the smallest visible objects.