To outsiders, the world of nanotechnology can seem like an alien land, conjuring up images of matter behaving in ways that are contrary to our everyday experiences. At Physics World we were keen to find out if people on the inside view this world with the same sense of wonder and intrigue. We caught up with researchers attending a recent nanotechnology conference in Bristol, UK, and asked them the following question: "What does the term nanotechnology mean to you?"

We were also keen to find out about the new technologies that could emerge from this research field in the coming years. So, we also asked the same scientists this question: "What do you think is the single most exciting potential application of nanoscience?"