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« Tone, Emotion, and Flaming | Main | Latest Sci/Tech Developments »

March 19, 2006


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Tom Craver

If aid is as simple as walking into a place with a nanofactory, the nanofactories will beat the aid worker to town.

Conversely, if the nanofactories haven't beaten the aid worker to town, it will be for reasons that keep the aid worker out of town as well.


you guys are compulsive exaggerraters! some times i wonder if you're just trying hoax as many people as possible.

the nanofactory proposal says you need bottles of feedstock (heavier than the things you're gonna build) and hundredds of kilowatts power to get a nanofactory to work! where did you get the idea that it would be pocketsized and portable?

this is all a joke isn't it? except i think its a sick joke, as there are real people in the world who need food and water.

Chris Phoenix, CRN

Monty, again you're taking two facets of MM and finding a contradiction where there isn't one.

First, the aid worker walking in with a nanofactory is one extreme. Obviously it'd be better to drop a five-ton pallet of supplies. But an aid worker--or local resident!--carrying pocket "starter kits" would be pretty hard for a corrupt regime to stop.

Second, let's look at what could be done with a pocket-full of nanotech. Let's assume that the pocket holds 1 kg of nano-stuff--more or less 1 liter in volume.

One quarter of that kilogram is nanofactory.

Another quarter is solar cells.

Another 250 grams is a small feedstock-processing plant that uses biomass.

The final 250 grams is useful products: village-scale water filter, networked computer, medical diagnostic equipment, perhaps some agricultural aids (soil moisture sensors that tell you where to water), etc.

A one-micron thick sheet of diamond weighs probably a gram or two. So 250 grams of solar cells represents about a hundred kilowatts of peak power--enough to run a pocket nanofactory.

Graphite is a few milligrams per square meter. A few grams provides enough surface area for a high-capacity water filter. When it clogs, burn it and build another.

I could go on, but I think the point is made. A pocket could contain village-scale resources, including a nanofactory and enough solar panels to run it.


A. RAkesh

Nice to see your presentation. if u can get me some detailed inforamation on this topic i would present as a seminar in my college.

i will be thankful to u if i could get ur response as soon as possible.

Thanking you,

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