Computational Nanotechnology

How Close Are We to Real Nanotechnology?

How Close Are We to Real Nanotechnology“Utility fog” is a term suggested by Dr. John Storrs Hall to describe a hypothetical collection of nanorobots together performing a certain function. This is one of the more radical visions of nanotechnology manufacturing and a source for several SF novels – a cloud of microscopic robots with on board computers and arms reaching in several different directions that could perform 3D lattice reconfiguration and build, say… a chair. Or a car.

How will engineers build the nanoscale robots for the molecular assembly lines of the future? Carbon nanotubes are essentially molecular cylinders of graphitic carbon that can be used to fabricate nanoscale devices by providing molecular probes, pipes, wires, bearings and springs –- the components needed to build nanoscale machines like those envisioned by Drexler, Hall, and others.

The pace of development toward these nanotech visions is accelerating. During May 2009 alone, advances involving DNA and RNA molecules show the promise of integrating nanotechnology with carbon nanotubes and nanoparticle metals (sized between 1 and 100 nanometers) to bootstrap precise control structures.

Here’s the mind-boggling list of recent nanotech developments:

• DNA wrapped carbon nanotubes for artificial tissue
• Two ways to make large scale three dimensional structures out of DNA
1. Routing a single-stranded scaffold DNA (a virus genome) through every section of a tube template
2. DNA used to assemble sheets of metal nanoparticles, that could be the basis of nanocircuits and could be integrated with the 3D nanotechnology
• Large scale 3D nanotechnology with DNA that is integrated with carbon nanotubes, diamond nanorods, nanoparticle metal, graphene and other DNA compatible chemistry
• DNA to detect pathogens and be used for drug delivery
• Modified RNA so that it reliably enter cells for drug delivery
• Ultrathin diamond nanorods – only twice as thick as the diamond rod logic for the molecular computers described by Drexler.

Given the level of extremely rapid discovery and experimentation, it seems like we may be reaching a tipping point – and it certainly supports the case for Kurzweil’s Law of Accelerating Returns.

Foresight Institute
The Foresight Nanotechnology Institute is the leading think tank and public interest institute for nanotechnology. Founded in 1986, this institute was the first organization to provide outreach concerning the benefits and risks of nanotechnology.

The concept of nanotechnology is largely credited to a talk given by physicist Dr. Richard Feynman, a Nobel Prize winner in Physics, at an American Physical Society meeting at Caltech on December 29, 1959. Feynman described a process to manipulate individual atoms and molecules.

The Foresight Institute established the Feynman Grand Prize in 1996 to motivate scientists and engineers to design and construct a functioning nanoscale robotic arm with specific performance characteristics. This $250, 000 incentive prize is somewhat analogous to the Loebner Prize for Artificial Intelligence (AI) – a Grail of sorts.

Either a human-level AI agent or a nanoscale robot arm will bring big changes.

The Foresight Institute is also helping to set the agenda for the beneficial applications of nanotechnology:

1. Providing Renewable Clean Energy
2. Supplying Clean Water Globally
3. Improving Health and Longevity
4. Healing and Preserving the Environment

See also:
CRC Press Computational Nanotechnology: Modeling and Applications with MATLAB® (Nano and Energy)
Book (CRC Press)

Nope, not in the least.computational

by JiminyCrickets

Advancement is not science fiction. Nanotechnology is no science fiction.
Database supercomputers are not science fiction.
The scale of quantum computing is not science fiction.
10 years ago Stephen Hawking wrote
"At the moment, computers show no sign of intelligence. This is not surprising, because our present computers are less complex than the brain of an earthworm. But it seems to me that if very complicated chemical molecules can operate in humans to make them intelligent, then equally complicated electronic circuits can also make computers act in an intelligent way

You haven't done enough investigating

by JiminyCrickets

We have no idea what consciousness is or when it takes place. The mega computer centers will be as large as New York City and be stationed out in space performing multiple quintillion computation per millisecond.
Dwarfing human computation - in fact dwarfing the entire human population of computation by many trillion fold.
Humans are a threatened species and we are unwittingly creating the predator.
Once nanotechnology starts building the nano components you will see a drastic rise in computational quota.

Nanotubes Increase Solar PV Conductivity 100 Million-Fold  — Sourceable
Carbon-based nanostructures are already being used as materials in solar cells with increasing frequency, yet their ability to enhance electrical performance has thus far been hampered by limited ability to assemble orderly networks using the materials.

Springer Practical Aspects of Computational Chemistry III
Book (Springer)
Artech House Advances in FDTD Computational Electrodynamics: Photonics and Nanotechnology
Book (Artech House)
American Scientific Publishers Handbook of Theoretical and Computational Nanotechnology (10-Volume Set)
Book (American Scientific Publishers)
  • Used Book in Good Condition
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