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Home > Nanosystems Reviews

Nanosystems - Molecular Machinery, Manufacturing, and Computation

Nanosystems - Molecular Machinery, Manufacturing, and Computation by Eric Drexler
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K. Eric Drexler - Foreword by Marvin Minsky

Synopsis

Science magazine calls Eric Drexler "Mr. Nanotechnology". For Years, Drexler has stirred controversey by declaring that molecular mamotechnology will bring a sweeping technological revolution-delivering tremendous advances in miniaturization, materials, computers, and manufacturing of all kinds. Now, he's written a detailed, top-to-bottom analysis of molecular machinery- how to design it, how to analyze it, and how to build it.

Nanosystems is the first scientifically detailed description of developments that will revolutionize most of the industrial processes and products currently in use. This groundbreaking work draws on physics and chemistry to establish basic concepts and analytical tools. The book then desribes nanomechanical componets, devices, and systems, including parallel computers able to execute 10 instructions per second and desktop molecular manufacturing systems able to make such products. Via chemical and biochemical techniques, proximal probe instruments, and software for computer-aided molecular manufacturing.

Bringing together physics, chemistry, mechanical engineering, and computer science, Nanosystems provides an indispensable introduction to the emerging field of molecular nanotechnology.

From the Publisher

Written by a leading researcher in the field and one of its founders, Nanosystems is the first technical introduction to molecular nanotechnology - an emerging field that has sparked increasing interest and controversy. This groundbreaking book describes fundamental physical principles, components and devices, then examines applications including computers of unprecedented power and manufacturing systems able to build such products molecule by molecule. Nanosystems presents a comprehensive overview of how molecular manufacturing will make products by using nanoscale (billionths of a meter) mechanical and robotic technologies to guide the placement of molecules and atoms. Working with these fundamental building blocks of matter will enable designers to approach the limits of the possible: to build the smallest devices, the fastest computers, the strongest materials, and the highest quality products. By manipulating common molecules at high frequency, molecular manufacturing will make these products quickly, inexpensively, and on a large scale. Molecular manufacturing is the key to implementing molecular nanotechnologies, building systems to complex atomic specifications. This landmark work first presents the basic principles of physics and chemistry required to understand molecular machines. Then, Dr. Drexler describes computational models of molecules as mechanical systems, the effects of statistical mechanics, quantum uncertainty, damage mechanisms, and energy dissipation, and the fundamentals of mechanosynthesis - the use of mechanical devices to guide molecular reactions. Nanosystems then applies the analytical tools and concepts developed in the first section to the design of nanomechanical components, devices, and systems. It describes nanomechanical gears, bearings, motors, sensors, logic gates, submicron 1000 MIPS computers (consuming 10-8 times as much power as comparable computers today), and systems able to join simple molecules.

"This is the unique value of Nanosystems, for it brings together in one place, for the first time, all the fundamental concepts needed to understand molecular manufacturing: what it can make, how it can work, how it can be achieved. Bringing together physics, chemistry, mechanical engineering, and computer science, it provides an indispensable introduction to the emerging field of molecular nanotechnology. For the technically knowledgeable, it provides an invaluable reference work which crosses the boundaries of several fields to bring together, in one convenient spot, the quantitative information required to analyze the performance of the molecular machines that will change our lives." Ralph Merkle, in Foresight Update 15

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