Almost the entire modern world is based on our ability to manipulate electrons with some degree of precision. It is the basis of computers, the Internet, and telecommunications. What has been lacking is similar progress with atoms. Manipulating atoms with accuracy is extremely challenging.

Nanobots in the bloodstreamThinking Exponentially, control of electrons progressed from powering lights to enabling smart phones. Each advancement in controlling electrons: radio, TV, telephone, Computers, Internet, Mobile – ushered in a multi billion dollar industry. Each technology developed quicker than its predecessor. Each catapulted our engineering ability forward, creating entirely new products and experiences for the consumer.

Thinking Exponentially with atoms, the same thing is happening. Roughly we are in TV era with the Bottom Up approach with the Carbon Nanotube revolution. The 3D Printing the approach is Top Down and is quickly advancing with new materials, speed and precision.  Both will work and scale geometrically, delivering industry changing results this decade. Big things will have small beginnings.

Additional nano technologies will leap-frog the industry forward. Atomic scale devices specialize in small working components such as transistors in chips. Molecular machines are one level up. Self organizing systems that automate much of the scaling issues, is found in DNA origami, protein folding and DNA replication. Nano, the Next Dimension captures the essence of the nano opportunity.

Although many years (decades) off, one of the best videos ever to show atomic precision is on YouTube. This is the utopia of nanotechnology. It holds the most promise and is the most challenging to create.

It shows a couple of key points that are not obvious. First, time at the atomic scale is incredibly short. Things move millions of times faster as they are correspondingly billions of times smaller.  Second, atoms are tiny, on the order of 1,000,000,000 in a meter. Third, the normal world experiences we humans enjoy are different very for atoms: frictiongravityattraction, either effectively don’t exist or dominate.

When we can do with atoms what we can do with electrons, the world will be a radically different place. Carbon Nanotubes will the first major step, 3D Printing the second.


Categories: Nanotech, Video

Author:Geoffrey Shmigelsky

Technology Entrepreneur, Angel Investor


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