Friday, November 10, 2006
The nanotechnology of science fiction revolves around little robots that can accomplish amazing and complex tasks. As far as I am concerned, nanotechnology is a meme that has evolved to mean something completely different from what science fiction authors have illustrated so vividly. The new meaning of nanotechnology is a discipline of science, not unlike chemistry or physics or biology, but one that encompasses everything that takes place at the molecular and slightly larger than molecular level. The synthesis of a new scientific field has happened many times throughout the years. The materials science department at my old university was created from the combined faculty of the metallurgy and ceramic engineering departments. Environmental science is sort of a combination of geology, geography, chemistry, sociology, marine biology, and ecology, but only the facets of those disciplines that apply to the health of our planet are included. Nanoscience is becoming the portion of materials science, chemistry, electrical engineering, physics, and biology that deals with exercising a tremendous degree of control over very small things. Thus, it is just a new discipline. Forget the robots. We will find another name for that when they go haywire and destroy entire cities.
Posted by AaronRowe at 11:09 PM