Short Essay on Nanotechnology

Technology has evolved from the task and things which once seen as unbelievable to common everyday chores and instruments. The developments and progress in artificial intelligence and molecular technology have spawned a new form of technology; Nanotechnology. Nanotechnology could give the human race eternal life, or it could cause total annihilation. The idea of Nanotechnology was originally conceived by K. Eric Drexler, which he defines it as “Technology based on the manipulation of individual atoms and molecules to build structures to complex atomic specifications. The technology, which Drexler speaks of, will be of the older of ‘nano’—structures will only measure 100 nanometers, or a billionth of a meter. Such fine structures can only be seen with the STM, or Scanning Tunneling Microscope that allows the scientists to not only to peek at the molecular level, but also to pick up and move atoms as well. But the STM has been regarded as too big to ever produce nano-tech structures.

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The problem plaguing the progress of nano-tech has raised many questions among the scientific community concerning its viability. The moving of atoms, the gathering of information, the restrictions of the STM, all restrict nano-tech is regarded as ridiculous. But the nano-tech optimists are still out there. However many scientists still it as mere a science fiction. Anti-Nano-group relies on scientific fact to condemn nano-tech. for example it is argued that we are very far away from ever seeing nano-tech due to the fact that when atoms get warm they have a tendency to bounce around. As a result the bouncing atoms collide with other material and mess up the entire structure. Taken in hand with the movement of electron charges, many regard nano-tech as impossible. But this is not the entirety of the obstacles confining nano-tech development. One major setback is the fact that the nanostructures are too small to reflect light in a visible way, making them practically invisible.

Researchers had an opinion that they are moving forward and will one day be able to produce nanomachines. One such machine is regarded as a replicator. A replicator, as its name implies, will replicate; much like the way in which genes are able to replicate themselves. Another perceived nanomachine is the assembler. The assembler is a small machine that will take in raw materials, follow a set of specific instructions, re-arrange the atoms, and result in an altogether new product. Hence, one could make diamonds simply by giving some assemblers lump of coal. Along with the assemblers comes its opposite, the disassemble. As a result of the enhanced production effects of assemblers Drexler believes that they will be able to shrink computers and improve their operation, giving us nanocomputers. These machines will be able to do all things that current computers can do, but at a much more efficient level. Through this and similar processes the possibilities of nanotech are endless. Hence, there is no limit to what nanotech can do, it could arrange circuits and build super-computers, or give eternal life. Nanotechnology could greatly increase our means of production. This new revolution won’t require crushing, boiling, melting, etc. Goods would now be built from the atom up by nanomachines one great advantage to nanotech will be the improvements it will lend in the areas of medicine.


However, with the good comes the bad. One scenario, which elaborates the danger of nanotech, is that Nanotechnology could spawn a new form of life that would overwhelm all other life on earth, replacing it with a swarm of nanomachines. This is sometimes termed as the ‘Gray Goo’ scenario. It could take the form of a new disease organism, which might wipe out whole species, including Homo sapiens and destroy everything including the human race. Moreover, the rapid replication rate that nanotech is capable of could allow it to out-produce real organisms and turn the biosphere to dust. Moreover if controlled by the wrong people nanites could be used to alter or destroy those persons enemies. If so desired, nano-tech could be used as a deadly weapon. New methods for domination will exist that are greater than Nukes and more dangerous. There may occur simple errors, such as receiving the wrong instructions points toward nano-tech doing more harm than good. Unless precautions are taken nano could lead to complete annihilation.

In the end, nano-tech could give a lifestyle never before imagined. On the other hand, it could destroy entire species. The question of how beneficial nano-tech will prove, can only be answered by time.

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