Joined: 03 Oct 2005
|Posted: Fri Nov 04, 2005 4:56 pm Post subject: Technology Expert Says ‘Life Itself is Nanotechnology’
|Chief Technology Expert Claims that ‘Life Itself is Nanotechnology’
At first blush, nanotechnology (defined as working with things at the scale of a billionth of a meter - a nanometer) might seem little different from the work that semiconductor manufacturers routinely do today to make the chips that put incredible computing power on our desks and into our pockets. Indeed, today's semiconductor chips are incredibly complex and their internal components are already nanotech-tiny; some structures are just four to six nanometers - a fewatoms(!) - wide.
So, in one vein, we've been living with in-our-pockets nanotechnology for years.
A major difference between traditional computer chip manufacturing and the more generalized genre of "nanotechnology" is that nanotech focuses not just on elements within a computer chip, but in working with atoms and molecules in their own right, to create purpose-built structures and even machines that would be impossible using traditional manufacturing techniques.
Today, we almost exclusively 'tear things down' (such as from a tree trunk or a block of metal) rather than 'building things up' from their nano-sized atomic and molecular constituent parts. The thing is, our 'tear it down' manufacturing is highly wasteful of energy and of raw materials, and it dramatically limits what we can build. As we get better at working with things at the nano scale, especially considering that the structures that build "us" also fall in this size range(!), working in the nanosphere promises to turn just about everything around us, including "us," on our (figurative) ears.
That's rather a sweeping statement, so let's get some concrete ideas (many already being explored in the labs) of what nanotech may bring:
The above is from an article written by technology expert Jeff Harrow. The entire article can be found at:
About Jeffrey Harrow
Jeff, now Principal at The Harrow Group, was the chief technologist for the Corporate Strategy Groups of both Compaq and Digital Equipment Corporation. As the author and editor of the Web-based multimedia technology journal and Webcast originally known as the "Rapidly Changing Face of Computing", Jeff has shared his fascination with the trends of contemporary computing and the technologies that drive them with tens of thousands of people globally for nearly twenty years. His new journal, The Harrow Technology Report, available on the Web at http://www.TheHarrowGroup.com, continues and significantly expands on this tradition.
Jeff is the co-author of a book, "The Disappearance of Telecommunications," and his commentaries on technology have been carried in numerous electronic and traditional media around the globe including Discover Magazine, United Press International, NanoNews-Now, and many others. He has also been interviewed on technology futures for TV programs, such as the History Channel's "Modern Marvels," and is an ongoing judge for Disney's Discover Magazine "Innovation Awards."
Jeff has numerous patents issued and on file in the areas of network management and user interface technology, and he is a commercial pilot. He brings these and other technological interests together to help people "look beyond the comfortable and obvious," so that they don't become road-kill on the Information Highway.
About Future Brief
Quantum physics, terrorism, Moore's Law, global warming, increasing human migration, incurable deadly viruses, ever more sophisticated surveillance, the list goes on and on. We speak of "global community", but can forget that community-building has always been a painful experience in human history. The reward potential is balanced by the risk potential. Neither should be ignored.
Scientists today speak of the "NBIC convergence" - the interaction of advances in nanotechnology, biotechnology, the information sciences, and the cognitive sciences. Future Brief takes one step back and looks at the greater convergence of the accelerating changes in science and technology with the equally rapidly accelerating changes in society and politics.
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Not only is our global community changing, it is changing at an accelerating pace. If you don't keep up, you will fall behind. Linear thinking will not suffice in an exponentially changing world.
This story was posted on 2 November 2005.