First, a word of caution Truly revolutionary nanotech products, materials and applications, such as nanoroboticsare years in the future some say only a few years; some say many years.
Most of the threatening scenarios involve tiny manufacturing systems that run amok, or are used to create destructive products. A manufacturing infrastructure built around a centrally controlled, relatively large, self-contained manufacturing system would avoid these problems.
A controlled nanofactory would pose no inherent danger, and it could be deployed and used widely. Cheap, clean, convenient, on-site manufacturing would be possible without the risks associated with uncontrolled nanotech fabrication or excessive regulation.
Control of the products could be administered by a central authority; intellectual property rights could be respected. In addition, restricted design software could allow unrestricted innovation while limiting the capabilities of the final products.
The proposed solution appears to preserve the benefits of advanced nanotechnology while minimizing the most serious risks. InEric Drexler published an influential book, Engines of Creation 2in which he described some of the benefits and risks of such a capability.
If molecules and devices can be manufactured by joining individual atoms under computer control, it will be possible to build structures out of diamond, times as strong as steel; to build computers smaller than a bacterium; and to build assemblers and mini-factories of various sizes, capable of making complex products and even of duplicating themselves.
Drexler's subsequent book, Nanosystems 3substantiated these remarkable claims, and added still more.
A self-contained tabletop factory could produce its duplicate in one hour. Devices with moving parts could be incredibly efficient. Molecular manufacturing operations could be carried out with failure rates less than one in a quadrillion. A computer would require a miniscule fraction of a watt and one trillion of them could fit into a cubic centimeter.
Nanotechnology-built fractal plumbing would be able to cool the resulting 10, watts of waste heat. It seems clear that if advanced nanotechnology is ever developed, its products will be incredibly powerful. As soon as molecular manufacturing was proposed, risks associated with it began to be identified.
Engines of Creation 2 described one hazard now considered unlikely, but still possible: A small nanomachine capable of replication could in theory copy itself too many times 4.
If it were capable of surviving outdoors, and of using biomass as raw material, it could severely damage the environment 5. Others have analyzed the likelihood of an unstable arms race 6and many have suggested economic upheaval resulting from the widespread use of free manufacturing 7.
Some have even suggested that the entire basis of the economy would change, and money would become obsolete 8. Sufficiently powerful products would allow malevolent people, either hostile governments or angry individuals, to wreak havoc. Destructive nanomachines could do immense damage to unprotected people and objects.
If the wrong people gained the ability to manufacture any desired product, they could rule the world, or cause massive destruction in the attempt 9. Certain products, such as vast surveillance networks, powerful aerospace weapons, and microscopic antipersonnel devices, provide special cause for concern.
Grey goo is relevant here as well: Clearly, the unrestricted availability of advanced nanotechnology poses grave risks, which may well outweigh the benefits of clean, cheap, convenient, self-contained manufacturing.
As analyzed in Forward to the Future: Nanotechnology and Regulatory Policy 10some restriction is likely to be necessary. However, as was also pointed out in that study, an excess of restriction will enable the same problems by increasing the incentive for covert development of advanced nanotechnology.
That paper considered regulation on a one-dimensional spectrum, from full relinquishment to complete lack of restriction.
As will be shown below, a two-dimensional understanding of the problem—taking into account both control of nanotech manufacturing capability and control of its products—allows targeted restrictions to be applied, minimizing the most serious risks while preserving the potential benefits.
Nanotech Manufacturing and Its Products The technology at the heart of this dilemma is molecular manufacturing. A machine capable of molecular manufacturing—whether nanoscale or macroscale —has two possible functions: Most products created by molecular manufacturing will not possess any capacity for self-duplication, or indeed for manufacturing of any kind; as a result, each product can be evaluated on its own merits, without worrying about special risks.
A nanotechnology-based manufacturing system, on the other hand, could build weapons, grey goo, or anything else it was programmed to produce.
The solution, then, is to regulate nanofactories; products are far less dangerous. A nanotechnology-built car could no more turn into grey goo than a steel-and-plastic car could. Some products, however, will be powerful enough to require restriction. Weapons built by nanotechnology would be far more effective than today's versions.Introduction to Nanomaterials & Nanotechnology Dr.
Pallab Ghosh Associate Professor Department of Chemical Engineering nanotechnology, very small objects come to the mind. Indeed, this branch of The possible benefits that can be obtained from nanoscience and technology seem.
The most important requirement for the nanotechnology definition is that the nano-structure has special properties that are exclusively due to its nanoscale proportions. This definition is based on the number of dimensions of a material, which are outside the nanoscale .
“Game changing” benefits from the use of nanotechnology-enabled lightweight, high-strength materials would apply to almost any transportation vehicle. For example, it has been estimated that reducing the weight of a commercial jet aircraft by 20 percent could reduce its fuel consumption by as much as 15 percent.
Green Nanotechnology Challenges And Opportunities June Green Nanotechnology Challenges And Opportunities 1 INTRODUCTION Nanotechnology is an emerging field.
It is an interdisciplinary science whose potential has been widely touted for well over a decade. Despite significant private and public investment. Carrington > Blog > Medical > The benefits of nanotechnology SHARE Nanotechnology has a wide range of potential usages that could produce advancements in medical treatment, pharm tech, food transportation and the electronics industry.
Introduction to nanotechnology and its applications to medicine. Author links open overlay panel Gabriel A Silva leslutinsduphoenix.com, In this review the main scientific and technical aspects of nanotechnology are introduced and some of its potential clinical applications are discussed.
This article represents an introduction to this emerging science.