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Dark Helmet
2005-Sep-09, 07:51 AM
When did nanotechnology become the end-all be all of everything? Some certain sci-fi universes seem to make nano-technology out to be this uber savior of all mankind. (I'm look at you, OA...)

Personally, I think it is unwarranted speculation.

Yes, it does have uses, but it isn't going to replace EVERYTHING. Because, for a lot of uses, it's just impractical. Namely, manufacturing. A lot of items do not need the high tolerances that nano-tech would allow for. And it would a slow and arduous process that would be impractical. Imagine getting the population of the United States to build a 30 Km ruler out of sticky wiffle balls. Thats nanotechnology.

Mike Wong has a better explanation of this than me, so I will link you to his page on Nanotech myths. (http://www.stardestroyer.net/Empire/Tech/Myths/Nanotech.html)

But I am wondering where this idea that nanotechnology is the crown jewel of technical development came from.

Fram
2005-Sep-09, 08:37 AM
I think the idea is that many things that are impossible today will become possible. That doesn't mean that the things we can do already will all be done better (or cheaper or faster). Old technologies are only rarely abandoned completely.

Eroica
2005-Sep-09, 08:55 AM
I'm still waiting for picotechnology. That'll knock nanotechnology into the tuppenny-hapenny place!

Swift
2005-Sep-09, 06:39 PM
Even in more serious endeavors than science fiction, nano-tech has become a big buzzword. Just look at any material science journal (and I would guess in NSF grant applications). I suspect that it will lead to some nice technological advances, particularly in materials, but that it has become overblown. Similar things have been said for computers, the internet, etc.

Fram
2005-Sep-09, 07:24 PM
I don't think computers have been so 'overblown' actually. We don't always realize it, but computers are literally everywhere in Western countries, and the field is still developing and expanding.
I think robotics is for the time being a better example of a hyped thing that is too slow to materialize.

publiusr
2005-Sep-09, 07:31 PM
Most advances are invisible--better plastics--better transmissions, etc.

dvb
2005-Sep-10, 09:12 PM
Mike Wong's article has already been outdated by a month.

See here.

http://www.spacedaily.com/news/nanotech-05zzzg.html

jkmccrann
2005-Dec-18, 12:57 PM
I don't think computers have been so 'overblown' actually. We don't always realize it, but computers are literally everywhere in Western countries, and the field is still developing and expanding.
I think robotics is for the time being a better example of a hyped thing that is too slow to materialize.


Which is why the Y2K story was so hyped, it was one of the first things that brought the whole reliance of our society upon computers to the realisation of a wider audience. It was fascinating to hear of all the embedded systems that abound and the uses to which they were put.

Dragon Star
2005-Dec-18, 03:46 PM
The biggest thing about nano is disease, throw in some nano bots and cure cancer, and THAT is big!

galacsi
2005-Dec-18, 06:38 PM
Nanotechnology is nothing new .It has been on earth some billions years now. And with bots much more complex the ones we are dreaming.

They are called "Bacteries".

TheBlackCat
2005-Dec-18, 10:32 PM
The biggest thing about nano is disease, throw in some nano bots and cure cancer, and THAT is big!

I hear that a lot, but how exactly would you cure cancer using nanobots in such a way that is far superior to other existing or potential treatments?

Dragon Star
2005-Dec-18, 10:43 PM
See if this (http://www.nanotech.biz/i.php?id=robertfreitas2) answers your question BlackCat.

It seems that the brain is the only thing nano can't fix, amazing!

eburacum45
2005-Dec-18, 11:29 PM
I read Mike Wong's essay a long time ago, and was very impressed; I think nanotech will certainly be very important in manufacturing in years to come, but thare are many forms of engineering that it won't replace. So we can perhaps say that appropriate scale technology will be used; for large scale components macrotechnology will be superior, and mesoscale and microscale technology will be used for the construction of many, if not most components.

But this does not mean that nanotechnology will be absent from these processes; eventually (I believe) most manufacturing processes will be automated, and the automation will no doubt incorporate many nanoscale components (and this will increase with time, I think). A proportion of fine components will be assembled using nanoscale assembler tech; and many, if not most products will increasingly rely on very small components for their function. Buried in many products will be monitoring and control systems of varying complexity, which will be very small and run on very little power.

Basically the important concept is a technology which works at an appropriate scale for the use; we won't see motor cars or oil tankers assembled by nanobots; but automated construction systems with an increasing proportion of nanoscale components will be involved in the manufacture of those items, while eventually almost all products will have parts which can only be assembled using nanoscale assembly of some sort.

Dragon Star
2005-Dec-19, 01:06 AM
Yes, there is a limit on the size and practicality factor, but the overall outlook for Nanotech is amazing, and would likely be a defining point of invention for that century. The uses are amazing in range, nearly anything could happen in the medical field with this tech, and I see it as an necessity for our future as sicknesses are mutating at a inclining rate, it just takes one to destroy everything if we don't have a proper defense. I think nano is the way to go.

Anyone object to the technology? I am interested to hear the other side of the fence.

Dark Jaguar
2005-Dec-19, 08:27 PM
Reading about nanotechnology I get the impression one could actually construct a fully functional GREEK GOD with the stuff.