Three Greek words — nano (dwarf or tiny), techne (craft or skill), and logos (science or learning) — combine to make nano-techno-logy: applying science at a tiny scale to the craft or skill of building.
Within twenty years, perhaps in less than ten, nanotechnology will revolutionize the manufacturing industry. A new desktop manufacturing appliance called a nanofactory will make a wide range of amazingly powerful products at extremely low prices. The key is tiny changes, microscopic machines inside the nanofactory that combine microscopic parts, millions every minute, to produce larger and more complex parts.
Nanofactories will produce structural materials that are stronger than steel and lighter than plastic for about a dollar a pound. Miniature supercomputers and powerful but almost invisible motors could be built into any product.
Miracle predictions about nanotech’s potential are common, as are dire warnings about the technology’s risks. So, are the pessimists or the optimists right? In this case, both are.
That's part of a new essay by Mike Treder, published yesterday by Future Brief. To read more, click here.