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Catching the nano wave

molecool writes "CNN reports that a proposal is now making the rounds to create a partnership between government, academia and the semiconductor industry to foster advanced nanotechnology research in the United States. Could this become something like the Manhattan project for creating the first molecular assembler?"

4 Responses to “Catching the nano wave”

  1. Chemisor Says:

    Manhattan Project

    It is misleading to compare MNT research to Manhattan Project. There was no real science involved in making the atomic bomb; it was strictly an engineering challenge to create a critical mass quickly enough. To create an assembler, a great deal of research into the properties of nanoscale parts would be needed, as much as an abundance of creative work in designing them and putting them together. Given the government's aversion to creative thinking (or rather to thinking of any kind), a government project would be incapable of achieving this goal.

  2. molecool Says:

    Valid point, but not quite

    I was trying to make an analogy by comparing it to the Manhattan project. In some ways, it was 'only' an engineering challenge since the available science supported the concept. However, consider that there were a LOT of variables involved to make it happen and some people even thought that we might ignite the atmosphere when launching a device at this magnitude. If you abandon your current way of thinking and try to imagine the mindset that existed during this project, you will realize how comparable it was to where we are today. Although there are pundits and critics I think we can safely assume that someone somewhere out there will one day create a molecular assembler and the world will not be the same ever again after that event.

  3. ChrisPhoenix Says:

    Probably not MNT…

    The project seems to be focused on molecular electronics. Those can be developed without MNT, so they probably won't work on it.

    Science and technology both require lots of research. I'm not sure that it's a useful distinction to say the Manhattan Project was all about technology. (If all it had to do was bring critical masses together fast enough, why'd they have to build a reactor first?)

    Manhattan and Nanhattan would be starting from similar levels of theory and spending similar effort to develop similarly speculative products.

    Chris

  4. jayakar Says:

    Re:Manhattan Project

    Though this elucidation as Manhattan, seems to be appropriate if considered as a project of Nanoscience; learning the Natures architecture and mimicking for our device-developments is not going to be terminated in a primary molecular assembly, where the quantification of a quantum is one of the mysteries of nature, that we can not explore and hence we have to depend on the molecular self assembly of the nature.

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