Searching for a nanotech self-organizing principle

elevatorOne of the frustrations of nanotechnology is that we generally can’t make nano materials in large quantities or at low cost, much less both. For the last five years a friend of mine has been telling me this story, explaining that there’s a secret manufacturing method and that he’s seen it. I’m beginning to think the guy is right. We may finally be on the threshold of the real nanotech revolution.

Say you want to build a space elevator, which is probably the easiest way to hoist payloads into orbit. Easy yet also impossible, because no material can be manufactured that is strong enough to make an elevator cable to […]

The nanotech replicators are coming!

That’s physicist Michio Kaku talking about the upsides, downsides, insides and outsides of having a replicator like on Star Trek to make anything we’d ever need or want. It’s a compelling vision and he’s right that its implications go far beyond the economic to include cultural, social, even psychological. Kaku says it’s possible to make such a device and suggests we’ll have it in 100 years.

I say we’ll have it in 20.

A longtime friend of mine has significant pieces of a replicator functioning in his lab right now. He’s no mad scientist but a respected engineer who is known for his broad technical interests. Right now he can’t make you a mug of Earl Grey […]

Memo from the bleeding edge

Successful technology startups are usually those that hit the market in a sweet spot — where market conditions create significant demand just as the startup is introducing its product. From the look of the rapidly-consolidating hard drive business, it might appear that I’ve missed the sweet spot with the metal foil disk technology some readers may remember I’ve been working on for several years. Hopefully not. But in any case it is probably time for an update.

When I started down this path toward a drive that uses very thin metal foil instead of polished glass there were several potential customers. Then Western Digital and Seagate started buying their competitors until now there will shortly be […]

By |April 22nd, 2011|2011|90 Comments