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Uncommonly Sensible

Keeping the "anal" in analytical... (While trying to remain civilized)

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Friday, September 29, 2006

It's a small world...

(Don Eigler and Erhard Schweizer of IBM’s Almaden Research Center made nanotech history when they wrote their employer’s name in xenon atoms on a nickel surface, using the weak attractive forces between the atoms in the STM needle’s tip and the xenon atoms to nudge them into position. Their paper was published in Nature on April 5, 1990)

There was an article recently on Nanotechnology, in the June 2006 issue of National Geographic Magazine.

From Wikipedia:
"Nanotechnology is a field of applied science focused on the design, synthesis, characterization and application of materials and devices on the nanoscale. Nanotechnology is a sub classification of technology in colloidal science, biology, physics, chemistry and other scientific fields and involves the study of phenomena and manipulation of material at the nanoscale, in essence an extension of existing sciences into the nanoscale. Two main approaches are used in nanotechnology: one is a "bottom-up" approach where materials and devices are built up atom by atom, the other a "top-down" approach where they are synthesized or constructed by removing existing material from larger entities. A unique aspect of nanotechnology is the vastly increased ratio of surface area to volume present in many nanoscale materials, which opens new possibilities in surface-based science, such as catalysis. This catalytic activity also opens potential risks in their interaction with biomaterials."

It's a fascinating subject, and it shows a lot of potential.

Some recent (Sept. 26th) articles:
Nanotechnology Risks Unknown
(Washington Post)
Study Says U.S. Has Lead in Nanotechnology
(New York Times)

Other related links:
The Institute of Nanotechnology
NanoBusiness Alliance
Nanotechnology Now
The National Nanotechnology Initiative
Engines of Creation:
The Coming Era of Nanotechnology

(K. Eric Drexler)

And a blog about it:
Howard Lovy's NanoBot

Size definitely matters!!!


Blogger cave_nate said...

read that with the some nano-particles, when you put them on your skin, they just disappear. Wander how that was found out :-)

MEMS (mini electromechanical machines ) are also related to nano stuff. MEMS are very commonplace today. I remember reading about them in some science journal many moons ago and look now.www.wikipedia.org/wiki/MEMS

here is something we used at work www.sercalo.com

September 29, 2006 8:33 AM  
Blogger boberin said...

They are doing some things that will boggle even my cynical mind. It's either the dawn of a new age or the end of life as we know it (possibly both) but it will be facinating to watch, that's certain!

September 29, 2006 8:33 AM  
Blogger Hawkeye® said...

She wore an itsy-bitsy, teeny-weeny, yellow nano-tech bikini...

(:D) Regards...

September 29, 2006 9:10 AM  
Blogger Maggie said...

Hawkeye.......you wish......

SocSecurity has been using nano technology for a long time when printing the $amt. on my checks.

September 29, 2006 9:17 AM  
Blogger MargeinMI said...

Science has never been my strong suit, so I find it difficult to wrap my leetle teeeny brain around such a subject. I do agree, however (from what little I do grasp), that it will be fascinating to see all the various applications this will apply to. Medicine, robotics, computers, space, etc.etc. I'm envious of the things my child will see come to fruition in his lifetime. (Provided the world is still here, that is.)

September 29, 2006 9:17 AM  
Blogger Rich said...

The Chinese are leading the rest of the world in nano-tech, but are hush-hush about it because they wish to develop "super weapons" which would be so effective that it would cause any opponent to surrender unconditionally, like the Japanese did in WWII. For some idea of what they are working towards - read Greg Bear's "Moving Mars" or check out these articles by Lev Navrozov. http://www.newsmax.com/pundits/Navrozov.shtml

September 29, 2006 10:11 AM  
Blogger JR said...

So when do you think they will be able to change lead into gold???

September 29, 2006 1:51 PM  
Blogger camojack said...

Those "MEMS" have a lot of potential for medical applications, I believe.

Fascinating stuff, thanks!

I vote for the "possibly both" option.

Actually, they're already using nanotech in the garment industry.

They probably use it in the new currency we've been seeing, too.

"Leetle teeny" is what it's all about! :-)

I read "Moving Mars" years ago; Greg Bear writes some thought-provoking stuff.

Regarding those articles by Lev Navrozov, I found this one most interesting:
U.S. Military Officers Warn: Russia and China Lead in Superweapons

Now. They've been able to do so for awhile, but it's still cheaper to just buy gold, at present...

September 29, 2006 4:15 PM  
Blogger JR said...

Yes particle accelerators cost alot to run and take forever to come up with gold... Nanos could force the release of three protons without the current energy requirements...

September 29, 2006 4:55 PM  
Blogger Beerme said...

This is one field of technology that could have untold, unplanned-for and unforeseen applications and effects on nearly all aspects fo our future life. It will be fascinating to watch. Don't fear technology, embrace it.

Naturally, it is far more entertaining to envision catastrophes that might ensue from nanotech-gone-wild, than to visualize the many unexpected positive consequences of this brave new world, but I'm betting on net good results. And, I've been investing in it for the past year...

September 29, 2006 5:59 PM  
Blogger camojack said...

In another age, you'd have been big on Alchemy, huh?

Science and Technology have been being very good to my 401K lately...

September 29, 2006 10:22 PM  
Blogger JR said...

Alchemy... You are pretty close... It is more of the release of energy... I also can see Cold Fusion with the use of nanos just around the corner...

September 30, 2006 12:33 PM  
Blogger camojack said...

Coincidentally, I was just reading where China is claiming to have successfully tested a fusion reactor...

September 30, 2006 2:23 PM  
Blogger Pat'sRick© said...

Love the replicators from StarGate SG-1.
Have you read Prey by Chrichton?

September 30, 2006 6:26 PM  
Blogger camojack said...

Oh, yes...I've read just about everything by Michael Crichton.

September 30, 2006 10:58 PM  

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