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December 13th, 2010
In today's Army, for example, the same challenges -- power, weight and cost -- pop up over and over again regardless of the task. Soldiers want equipment that is almost weightless, can be powered by almost nothing, costs pennies, and works anywhere.
Overcoming these challenges would give our military the kind of edge it used to enjoy. And the way to do it is by exploiting nanotechnology. "Nano" refers to scale. It means building materials and systems that are really small -- on the molecular and atomic level.
Nanotechnology has almost infinite military applications from lightweight, superstrong materials to machines that can think.
The United States leads the world in nano-science, but that lead is narrowing fast. Our private sector can't plunge much further into nano-industries, given the current economic climate. But that could change rapidly, with a little help from Washington.
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