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September 12th, 2004
Nanotechnology: The next small thing?
Close your eyes and think small. So small that a red blood cell is a whole world, and hydrogen and carbon atoms are as big as baseballs.
Now imagine picking up those atoms and building a machine. A line of carbon makes a wire, while atoms of silver are the teeth on a gear. The finished product is a motor, or a microprocessor, or an entire robot—literally millions of times smaller than any comparable device today.
The promise of nanotechnology is as large as its products are minuscule. Like the Internet, artificial intelligence and atomic energy in their heydays, nanotech has proponents in ecstasy about how it will fundamentally change the world.
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