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Nanotechnology and Meaning:  Nanotechnology and Meaning Ralph C. Merkle www.merkle.com Seventh Foresight Conference on Molecular Nanotechnology October 15 -17, 1999 Santa Clara, CA www.foresight.org/Conferences:  Seventh Foresight Conference on Molecular Nanotechnology October 15 -17, 1999 Santa Clara, CA www.foresight.org/Conferences Three historical trends in manufacturing:  Three historical trends in manufacturing More flexible More precise Less expensive Approaching the limit: nanotechnology:  Approaching the limit: nanotechnology Fabricate most structures consistent with physical law Get essentially every atom in the right place Inexpensive manufacturing costs (~10-50 cents/kilogram) http://nano.xerox.com/nano Slide5:  Coal Sand Diamonds Computer chips It matters how atoms are arranged Today’s manufacturing methods move atoms in great thundering statistical herds:  Today’s manufacturing methods move atoms in great thundering statistical herds Casting Grinding Mixing Lithography ….. A modern manufacturing facility:  A modern manufacturing facility Slide8:  Possible arrangements of atoms . What we can make today (not to scale) Slide9:  The goal: a healthy bite. . Two more fundamental ideas:  Two more fundamental ideas Self replication for low cost Positional assembly of molecular parts Slide11:  Von Neumann's universal constructor about 500,000 Internet worm (Robert Morris, Jr., 1988) 500,000 Mycoplasma capricolum 1,600,000 E. Coli 9,278,442 Drexler's assembler 100,000,000 Human 6,400,000,000 NASA Lunar Manufacturing Facility over 100,000,000,000 http://nano.xerox.com/nanotech/selfRep.html Complexity of self replicating systems (bits) Self replication can be very low cost:  Self replication can be very low cost Potatoes, lumber, wheat and other agricultural products are often roughly a dollar per kilogram. Nanotechnology will let us make almost any product for about a dollar per kilogram, independent of complexity. (Design costs, licensing costs, etc. not included) Positional assembly of molecular parts is new:  Positional assembly of molecular parts is new Self assembly: stir together molecular parts that spontaneously self assemble into desired structures. Positional assembly: put molecular parts exactly where we want them, vastly increasing the range of molecular structures we can make. Slide14:  Moving molecules with an SPM Gimzewski, IBM Zurich A proposal for a molecular positional device:  A proposal for a molecular positional device Classical uncertainty:  Classical uncertainty σ: RMS positional error k: restoring force kb: Boltzmann’s constant T: temperature A numerical example of classical uncertainty:  A numerical example of classical uncertainty σ: 0.02 nm (0.2 Å) k: 10 N/m kb: 1.38 x 10-23 J/K T: 300 K Slide18:  If we can make whatever we want what do we want to make? Diamond Physical Properties:  Diamond Physical Properties Property Diamond’s value Comments Chemical reactivity Extremely low Hardness (kg/mm2) 9000 CBN: 4500 SiC: 4000 Thermal conductivity (W/cm-K) 20 Ag: 4.3 Cu: 4.0 Tensile strength (pascals) 3.5 x 109 (natural) 1011 (theoretical) Compressive strength (pascals) 1011 (natural) 5 x 1011 (theoretical) Band gap (ev) 5.5 Si: 1.1 GaAs: 1.4 Resistivity (W-cm) 1016 (natural) Density (gm/cm3) 3.51 Thermal Expansion Coeff (K-1) 0.8 x 10-6 SiO2: 0.5 x 10-6 Refractive index 2.41 @ 590 nm Glass: 1.4 - 1.8 Coeff. of Friction 0.05 (dry) Teflon: 0.05 Source: Crystallume A hydrocarbon bearing (theoretical):  A hydrocarbon bearing (theoretical) A bearing made of H, C, N, O, and S. The shaft has 17 fold symmetry, the sleeve 23:  A bearing made of H, C, N, O, and S. The shaft has 17 fold symmetry, the sleeve 23 Slide22:  Memory probe Neon pump:  Neon pump A planetary gear:  A planetary gear Fine motion controller:  Fine motion controller Drexler’s assembler:  Drexler’s assembler http://www.foresight.org/UTF/Unbound_LBW/chapt_6.html Slide27:  Core molecular manufacturing capabilities Today Products Products Products Products Products Products Products Products Products Products Products Products Products Products Products Products Products Products Products Products Products Products Products Products Products Products Overview of the development of nanotechnology The impact of nanotechnology depends on what’s being made:  The impact of nanotechnology depends on what’s being made Computers, memory, displays Space Exploration Medicine Military Energy, Transportation, etc. Displays:  Displays Molecular machines smaller than a wavelength of light will let us build holographic displays that reconstruct the entire wave front of a light wave It will be like looking through a window into another world Covering walls, ceilings and floor would immerse us in another reality Computer generated reality:  Computer generated reality Vast computational power will be needed to model a 3-D “reality” in real time and generate the full optical wavefront (ten trillion samples per square meter every 10 milliseconds) Nanotechnology will give us vast computational power Powerful computers:  Powerful computers In the future we’ll pack more computing power into a sugar cube than the sum total of all the computer power that exists in the world today We’ll be able to store more than 1021 bits in the same volume Or more than a billion Pentiums operating in parallel Powerful enough to run Windows 2015 Easier methods?:  Easier methods? Optic nerve has ~1,000,000 nerves can carry only a few megabytes/sec Human brain 1013 to 1016 operations/sec A sugar cube computer over 1018 operations/sec Easier alternatives:  Easier alternatives Track eye location, generate only that portion of the wavefront actually seen (which is also low power) Directly stimulate the retina Directly stimulate the optic nerves (involves implantable nanodevices) Swallowing the surgeon:  Swallowing the surgeon ...it would be interesting in surgery if you could swallow the surgeon. You put the mechanical surgeon inside the blood vessel and it goes into the heart and “looks” around. ... Other small machines might be permananetly incorporated in the body to assist some inadequately-functioning organ. Richard P. Feynman, 1959 Nobel Prize for Physics, 1965 Slide35:  Mitochondrion 20 nm scale bar Ribosome Molecular computer (4-bit) + peripherals Molecular bearing Slide36:  “Typical” cell Mitochondrion Molecular computer + peripherals Medical nanodevice power and signal:  Medical nanodevice power and signal Oxygen/glucose fuel cells can be scaled to molecular size and provide electric power, producing H2O and C02 Megahertz acoustic signals are safe and can transmit data to devices that are tens of nanometers in size Slide38:  Nerve cell Acoustically activated nanodevice (large) Resting potential: ~-0.65 volts membrane An alternative to displays:  An alternative to displays Direct stimulation of human nerve cells via nanodevices will be feasible High-bandwidth externally derived input, augmenting or replacing ordinary input from the eye, ear, nose, skin, etc. Safe for long term use if desired Nanomedicine Volume I:  Nanomedicine Volume I A comprehensive survey of medical applications of nanotechnology Extensive technical analysis Volumes II, III and popular book planned Author: Robert Freitas http://www.foresight.org/Nanomedicine Types of medical treatment:  Types of medical treatment Surgery: intelligent guidance, crude tools Drugs: no intelligence, molecular precision Medical nanodevices: intelligent guidance, molecular precision A revolution in medicine:  A revolution in medicine Today, loss of cell function results in cellular deterioration: function must be preserved With medical nanodevices, passive structures can be repaired. Cell function can be restored provided cell structure can be inferred: structure must be preserved Slide43:  Cryonics 37º C 37º C -196º C (77 Kelvins) Freeze Restore to health Time Temperature (many decades) Would you rather join::  Would you rather join: The control group? (no action required) or The experimental group? (see www.alcor.org for info) National Nanotechnology Initiative:  National Nanotechnology Initiative Interagency (NSF, NASA, NIST, NIH, DOD, .... See http://www.nsf.gov/nano) Favorable congressional hearings Government funding expected to double Academic interest increasing Private funding increasing (existing companies, startups such as Zyvex) Slide46:  There is a growing sense in the scientific and technical community that we are about to enter a golden new era. Richard Smalley http://www.house.gov/ science/smalley_062299.htm Slide47:  Nanotechnology offers ... possibilities for health, wealth, and capabilities beyond most past imaginings. K. Eric Drexler How long?:  How long? The scientifically correct answer is I don’t know Trends in computer hardware suggest the 2010 to 2020 time frame Of course, how long it takes depends on what we do Slide49:  The best way to predict the future is to invent it. Alan Kay

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