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What is Nanotechnology?

Computers reproduce information at almost no cost.

A push is well underway to invent devices that manufacture at almost no cost, by treating atoms discretely, like computers treat bits of information. This would allow automatic construction of consumer goods without traditional labor, like a Xerox machine produces unlimited copies without a human retyping the original information.

Electronics is fueled by miniaturization. Working smaller has led to the tools capable of manipulating individual atoms like the proteins in a potato manipulate the atoms of soil, air and water to make copies of itself.

The shotgun marriage of chemistry and engineering called "Nanotechnology" is ushering in the era of self replicating machinery and self assembling consumer goods made from cheap raw atoms (Drexler, Merkle paraphrased).

Nanotechnology is molecular manufacturing or, more simply, building things one atom or molecule at a time with programmed nanoscopic robot arms. A nanometer is one billionth of a meter (3 - 4 atoms wide). Utilizing the well understood chemical properties of atoms and molecules (how they "stick" together), nanotechnology proposes the construction of novel molecular devices possessing extraordinary properties. The trick is to manipulate atoms individually and place them exactly where needed to produce the desired structure. This ability is almost in our grasp.

The anticipated payoff for mastering this technology is far beyond any human accomplishment so far...

Above is an extract from the introduction of the plenary of Dr. Drexler at the January '96 program of the twenty-ninth annual Hawaii International Conference on System Science, Maui. (An academic meeting of software and systems scientist.)

The definitive "Text Book" on Molecular Nanotechnology (MNT) is Drexler's -- basically an expanded version of Dr. Drexler's doctoral thesis which earned the first doctorate in molecular nanotechnology from MIT.

Nanosystems : Molecular Machinery, Manufacturing, and Computation
by K. Eric Drexler

A reviewer said: 

5 out of 5 stars Nanosystems is needed for all who want to learn about Nano.
Dr. K. Eric Drexler has once again stunned the Scientific world. His book, "Nanosystems" is the most thorough book on Nanotechnology I have ever read. It was what convinced me to strive to be a NanoRobotic Engineer. Thank you Dr. Drexler.

Nanotechnology is one of the fastest-growing technology areas ever developed.

If you want to stay on the cutting edge of the latest innovations in nanotech

and MEMS, you should be a subscriber to Nanotech Briefs. This digital magazine

from the publishers of NASA Tech Briefs highlights the best near-term nano and

MEMS technologies developed by government, industry, and university researchers.

These are nanotech and MEMS innovations with real-world applications, developed

for the commercial market.

Delivered six times a year in PDF format directly to your desktop, Nanotech

Briefs tells you about the nanotech market, the industry's major players,

and the potential applications for these revolutionary technologies.

Here's a quick preview of what's featured in the July issue:

Researchers at the Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley Lab in California

have developed the first nanometer-scale rotational motor -– the smallest

synthetic motor ever created. The nanomotor consists of a nanoelectromechanical

actuator with a rotatable metal plate, and a multi-walled carbon nanotube that

serves as the motion-enabling element. Commercial applications include

everything from automotive and medical devices to environmental detectors,

optical mirrors, and oscillators.  At Cornell University's Nanobiotechnology Center in Ithaca,  

NY, virus measurement research has reached the "atto" scale. An attogram is

one-thousandth of a nanogram. The researchers used tiny oscillating

cantilevers to detect masses as small as 6 attograms, which is precise

enough to measure the weight of a small virus. The technology eventually

could be used to detect and identify DNA molecules, proteins, and other

biological molecules.  If you'd like to find out about other innovations like these, become a

subscriber to Nanotech Briefs at: http://link.abpi.net/l.php?20040713A10

Download a sample issue and subscribe today at: http://www.nanotechbriefs.com

Nanotechnology Links


 Nanotechnology Nanotechnology is the postulated ability to
tremendous amounts of material on nanotechnology and its possibilities,

What is NanoTechnology?
[References] What is Nanotechnology? What is Nanotechnology? When
Nanotechnology? When Will Nanotechnology Arrive? The Easy

Responsible Nanotechnology: What is Nanotechnology? 

ENTA - Euro Nano Trade Alliance 

Thais aim to make a mark with nano-fabrics 

MachineBrain Advanced Technology: Nanotechnology 

BBC NEWS | Science/Nature | Tiny science is lost on UK public 

The Connected Traveler - Mighty Morfin' Airplanes: Nanotechnology ... 

Press Release - 05 September 2007 - University of Bath 


Center on Nanotechnology & Society 

Home Page of NanoTechnology Magazine
mentally and financially with NanoTechnology Magazine. NanoResearch -
Description: Site describes what nanotechnology is and some of its potential uses and implications

Sean Morgan's Nanotechnology Pages
Morgan's Nanotechnology Pages What's New Molecular Nanotechnology
Nanoelectronics and Micromachining Nanotechnology Mailing Lists


 Nanotechnology RECENT NEWS: Eric Drexler will keynote the Alcor Life
Description: Former Xerox Palo Alto Research Center Nanotechnology page: brief introduction to core

1997 Nanotechnology Conference

Map | Search About Foresight | Nanotechnology | Web Enhancement | News |
Foresight Conference on Molecular Nanotechnology November 5-8, 1997; Palo

The Nanotechnology (Macro) Book Site

The Nanotechnology (Macro) Book Site Highly Recommended Books - Hand
CDs, Folk Music, Musicals NANOTECHNOLOGY: Core Nanotechnology,

Brad Hein's Nanotechnology Site

Hein's Nanotechnology Site Home Site Map Guide Events Resources Search
Clinton has proposed a National Nanotechnology Initiative with a $497

Web Publishing and Molecular Nanotechnology

Molecular Nanotechnology Web Using the Web to help prepare for
to help prepare for Nanotechnology, tomorrow's molecular manufacturing


 Nanotechnology Papers and sci.nanotech archives Introduction to
archives Introduction to Nanotechnology Nanotechnology is a

General Nanotechnology (GN) LLC

Makes Probe 3D and SmartFocus Software: used by major manufacturers in Atomic Force and Confocal Microscopy systems, and in semi-conductor wafer profiling equipment. GN's imaging software is useful for SPM and optical microscopy, including laser and Nipkow disk confocal imaging.

 Nanotechnology without Genies
Critique of the belief system associated with nanotechnology. (However, much of it demonstrates a severe failure to understand the arguments of key nanotechnology advocates.)

NanoTechnology Health -- cryonics

A short discussion of how nanotechnology relates to cryonics.

Oak Ridge National Laboratory - Computational Nanotechnology

Summary of ongoing research aimed at simulating nanomachines and aspects of fundamental chemical physics at the molecular scale.

Nanotechnology and Cryonics

An introduction by Jerry Emanuelson of Colorado Futurescience. 3 printed pages.

Nanotechnology Industries

Personal site including current news and directory of links to government, academic, corporate, and organizations' nanotech news. Includes a publication, message board, email list, and chatroom.

NAS Computational Molecular Nanotechnology

NASA Ames Research Center's Numerical Aerospace Simulation Facility (NAS) lists goals, activities, and people involved in Nanotechnology projects.

Xerox Nanotechnology Page

One of the best places to start on nanotechnology research, with many annotated links.

Zyvex: Molecular nanotechnology R&D

First molecular nanotechnology research and development company. Creating technology for atomically precise manufacturing.

Eurotechnology: Nanotechnology, Nanowires

Advanced nanotechnology reseach and technology: Ultrathin nanowire fabrication, simulation and visualization of quantum devices

ATOMA - Software for Nanotechnology

Nonprofit, soon to convert into a nanotechnology startup. "Matter will become Software. Atoma is dedicated to providing tools for Nanotechnology."

Physics News Graphics: Nanotechnology

Classic and new pictures of nanostructures from the American Institute of Physics.

Eurotechnology Japan: Nanotechnology, Nanowires

Makes 20 nanometer small wires, works on other advanced nanotechnology projects. Website slide shows: visualize electron wave propagation through nanodevices, blue Gallium Nitride light emitters and lasers.

The Problem of Nonsense in Nanotechnology

MNT, being a new, highly interdisciplinary field with revolutionary implications, is bound to attract more than its fair share of bogosity. Short paper by K Eric Drexler.

Physik Instrumente (PI) NanoPositioning, Piezo & NanoTechnology

Commercial site: leading edge PZT nanopositioning products, piezo-electric flexure systems, sub-nanometer resolution capacitive sensors, for AFM, SPM, SNOM, semiconductor test & measurement, disk drive, GMR. Hexapod systems, micropositioining stages.

UNBOUNDING THE FUTURE: the Nanotechnology Revolution

The full text on-line of Drexler's "mass market" book about nanotechnology, written with Chris Peterson and Gayle Pergamit. No cryonics in this book, but an interesting read.

NanoTechnology Magazine

Monthly news magazine of nanotechnology, the technology which will dominate the 21st Century.

Nanotechnology Magazine

Site describes what nanotechnology is and some of its potential uses and implications in medicine, computing, space, ecology, politics and war. Magazine subscription available online.

Xerox/Zyvex Nanotechnology

Former Xerox Palo Alto Research Center Nanotechnology page: brief introduction to core concepts of molecular nanotechnology (MNT), and links for further reading.

BECON 2000 Nanoscience and Nanotechnology Symposium

Aimed at achieving a better understanding, for biologists, of the exciting field of nanoscience and nanotechnology, identifying possible applications relevant to biology and medicine, and exploring future research possibilities. June 25-26, 2000, on the NIH main campus in Bethesda, Maryland.

Alexa's Nanotechnology Art

Art related to ideas about nanotechnology.

Centre for Nanotechnology and Microengineering

San Jose Mercury News: Nanotechnology from science fiction to fact

Nanotechnology makes the SchNEWS

Molecular nanotechnology, the science of the very small, could make the current furore over genetic engineering seem like a storm in a teacup, writes Robin Green. It's a technology that could radically reshape everyone's lives, and depending on how it is controlled, could be a powerful tool for corporations and governments to gain frightening new levels of power and control over ordinary people's lives - or it could be a startling new tool for liberation.

Challenges of Nanotechnology Misuse Cited in Leslie's 'The End of the World'
From the Foresight Institute (which specialises in nanotechnology).

Children's Space Books and Alexa's Nanotechnology Art

Children's space books from 1800's to present as well as Alexa's art. Site includes a book database, history, and links to authors, illustrators and space artists.

Nanotechnology is the only realistic solution to these enormous problems facing humanity today, says Prof. Rick Smalley. Those who are sceptical of "technological fixes" should still read this - nanotechnology will be like no other technology the world has known.

Nanotechnology Books

Reviews on Nanotechnology Books written by consumers at Epinions.com.

Transhumanist Socialism

A type of socialism which holds that future transhumanist technologies such as nanotechnology will make it much more feasible to bring about a truly socialist world. Comments welcomed.


Seminal paper which argues that nanotechnology projections need to be tempered by realism about what it will be used for in the hands of corporations and governments - but that nanotechnology also offers enormous opportunities for the liberation of humanity.

Remaking the World One Atom at a Time

Simple introduction to nanotechnology from the LA Times.

The Incredible Shrinking World of Eric Drexler

Red Herring magazine: an interview with Eric Drexler, father of nanotechnology. Informative and entertaining article from August, 1995.

The Foresight Institute

Non-profit institute focused on nanotechnology, the coming ability to build materials and products with atomic precision, and systems to aid knowledge exchange and critical discussion, thus improving public and private policy decisions.

Self Replicating Systems
NASA and Self-Replicating Systems: Implications for Nanotechnology.

FET - Future and Emerging Technologies

EU funding agency supporting research of longer term nature with particularly high risk promising major advantages and industrial or societal impact. FET pro-active initiatives include Quantum information processing and communication, Universal information ecosystems and Nanotechnology information devices.


Nanotechnology site en Español.

Brain Death and Technological Change: Personal Identity, Neural Prostheses and Uploading

A far-seeing but technical paper by James J. Hughes, prepared for the Second International Symposium on Brain Death. Date unclear, but 1996 or later. Includes discussion of cryonics and nanotechnology.

The Center for the Study of Technology and Society - Innovation

Keeping up with technology's developments is central to anticipating its social effects. This page includes links to news reports on nanotechnology, advanced computing, space, cryogenics and more.

Year2067.com Emerging Technologies e-Magazine

Futurism & emerging technologies e-magazine focusing on Nanotechnology, Robotics, Cryonics, Human Genome Project, Virtual Reality & breakthrough health news.

Nanotechnology Web Pages sponsored by Molecular Manufacturing

Enterprises Incorporated Nanotechnology Links Rebuttal of April 1996
Scientific American article on Nanotechnology "Engines of Creation", by

Nanotechnology Industries

science of nanotechnology, solutions for the future." Pick up the January
Description: Personal site including current news and directory of links to government, academic.

SciCentral: Best Nanotechnology Online Resources

Engineering Sciences Nanotechnology Comprehensive Directories Specialized
Discussion Groups Search SciCentral Nanotechnology Industries Sean

1999 Nanotechnology Conference

EL.B.A. - Foresight Conference on Nanotechnology April 14-16, 1999; Rome,
and Papers Satellite Meeting: Nanotechnology and Industrial Development

Nanotechnology in Science Fiction Home Page

Page. THE Bibliography of Nanotechnology in Science Fiction. N-SF
Rating System Non-fiction books on nanotechnology Short Stories or

Nanotechnology Conference

Conference on Molecular Nanotechnology SUMMARY: The conference is now
Foresight Conference on Molecular Nanotechnology was held November 9-11,

Yahoo! Science:Nanotechnology

Email Home > Science > Nanotechnology all of Yahoo! just this
(5) Research (13) Usenet (2) Nanotechnology - provides a brief

Nanotechnology Mailing Lists

 Nanotechnology Mailing Lists -- Table of Contents Cryonics Extropians
(MicroSystems Technology Net) Nanotechnology in Science Fiction (N-SF)

Partnership in Nanotechnology: Synthesis, Processing, and Utilization

 Nanotechnology News Workshops on Nanotechnology List of Future
10, 1998, Rosslyn, Virginia. Nanotechnology Conference for the Soldier

Nanotechnology Links - NASA

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