Nanotechnology is the postulated ability to manufacture objects and structures with atomic precision, literally atom by atom. This would mirror the abilities of living cells (which do exactly the same thing, although based on evolution and not design).
This technology will have tremendous potential if it can be developed; simple applications involve the creation of new and powerful materials, perfect diamond in bulk quantities and a tool to manipulate objects on any scale. More advanced applications would involve massively parallel nanocomputers, self-replication and more or less bright nanodevices able to interact with their surroundings.
Since there are tremendous amounts of material on nanotechnology and its possibilities, implementation and limitations, I will concentrate mainly on its applications in transhumanism and some technical aspects.
Jim's Molecular Nanotechnology
Web. A very good overview of nanotechnology and web resources.
The Foresight Institute. The foremost
organization for education about nanotechnology.
a Small, Small, Small, Small World by Ralph C. Merkle. A very complete
overview of nanotechnology.
Self Replicating Systems and Molecular Manufacturing by Ralph C. Merkle
Design considerations for an assembler by Ralph C. Merkle. What subsystems are needed for a simple assembler?
Assembler Construction by Proximal Probe by John Michelsen, Mark J. Dyer, and Jim Von Ehr.
A proposed "metabolism" for a hydrocarbon assembler by Ralph C. Merkle. A detailled sketch of how closure can be achieved.
Assembler/replicator page by Mitch Porter. A sketch towards an assembler specification.
studies of a hydrogen abstraction tool for nanotechnology by Charles
B. Musgrave, Jason K. Perry, Ralph C. Merkle and William A. Goddard
III (published in Nanotechnology
2 (1991) 187-195).
by David Bradley.
This New House by Phil Goetz. Sketches how nanotechnology may create very flexible buildings.
The Future Impact of Molecular Nanotechnology on Textile Technology and on the Textile Industry by David R. Forrest
The Potential of Nanotechnology for Molecular Manufacturing by Max Nelson and Calvin Shipbaugh (a RAND publication).
Nanotechnology, Self-Reproduction & Agile Manufacturing by Nick Szabo.
Nanotechnology in Manufacturing by John Walker (There is also an ascii version)
The Museum of Nanotechnology by Charles Platt. A fictional museum of the history of nanotechnology.
About Utility Fog. A paper about a possible nanodevice: a collective of "foglets" that can move and work together, manipulate macroscopic objects and provide a virtual or enhanced reality.
Social and Economic Aspects
Nanotechnology is extremely powerful, and if developed will play a central role in the survival of humanity - or its extinction.
Nanotechnology and the
Next 50 Years by R. E. Smalley. A presentation explaining what nanotechnology
is and why we need it to survive.
Engines of Creation:
The Coming Era of Nanotechnology by Eric K. Drexler. The entire text
of the book, which deals with nanotechnology and its possibilities.
The Memetics of Nanotechnology
The idea of nanotechnology has one big problem: it is so radical, so powerful that it is hard for many people to accept ("Molecule sized robots in my blood curing cancer, stopping aging and removing bad breath? Yeah, right."), and once one has accepted the basic premise it is easy to become a devout believer that sees it as the salvation from all problems ("It will end scarcity, give peace and immortality!"). Neither view is rational, but they tend to be loud from time to time, which hurts the development of real nanotechnology.
of Nonsense in Nanotechnology by K. Eric Drexler. How to avoid nonsense?
K. Eric Drexler, Engines of Creation: The Coming Era of Nanotechnology, Anchor Books 1986.
Eric Drexler and Chris Peterson, with Gayle Pergamit, Unbounding the Future: the Nanotechnology Revolution, William Morrow and Company, Inc. 1991
K. Eric Drexler: Nanosystems (Wiley, 1992) 0-471-57518-6
Robert Freitas, Nanomedicine, Landes Bioscience 1999Journal of Molecular Modelling
Relevant Newsgroup: sci.nanotech.
Anders Sandberg / email@example.com 2000-03-11