Almost all progress in science and technology, including computers and artificial intelligence, is of a protopian nature and do not lead to either utopian or dystopian societies. Protopian is a new term to identify progress in an incremental way where every year it’s better than the year before but not by very much—just a micro amount. That is, until nano-technology – a new architecture at the atomic level – was discovered.
The only particle smaller than a nano-particle is an atom and it’s subatomic particles. We have universally accepted that all ‘things’ of matter are made up of atoms, including ourselves. Nano-technology is about the ways that we can actually restructure those atoms into new and stronger materials for so many new products or enhance existing products. We cannot see nano particles because they are approximately 80,000 times smaller than the ridges on your finger print. In the nano universe, we are actually talking about working at 1 millionth of a millimeter in diameter. Nano particles can only be seen though the world’s most powerful microscopes – scanning tunneling microscope (STM) – developed by IBM in the 1980’s.
The STM does not have lens but is able to scan the surface of a material, like reading braille, where you don’t actually have to see it with the naked eye. The STM builds an image (picture) of atoms and module that scientist could actually see. This enable scientist to understand how things fit and worked together at a molecular level.
Individual atoms could be moved around with a probe that picked up the atom with the energy of the atom. This ability to actually touch an atom is paving the way of new surfaces unimaginable just a few years ago. It was the STM technology that has launch the brand new world of nanotechnology not with just new product ideas, but also enhances existing materials for better performance of older products that we are already use to. Nano products have been slowly creeping into our existing product lines without us even noticing it.
One example of a new product is Graphene, a two-dimensional form of carbon which is just one atom thick and is the base foundation of many new building materials.
Recently, Columbia University researcher Young Duck Kim, and his newly discovered graphene “light bulb” could light the way for many future electronic products. Great discoveries are not planned, but usually are accidents. Kim was trying to “clean” graphene by heating it with an electric current, when something odd happened. As he slowly increased the current, the graphene unexpectedly began to emit a bright, visible light. Kim has since developed a nanoscale light-emitting device that can be put on a chip. This will enhance AI computers into the fast lane.
An example of enhancing an existing product is thermite, which is a burn source used in welding. A friend told me about nanothermite recently and I had no idea what it was. Instead of telling me about the product, he told me to look it up in the internet. When I did, I was quite intrigued that most links pointed to the 9/11 WTC disaster.
Apparently, there are those who believe in the conspiracy that nanothermite, which was developed by the military in the 1990’s, was used to bring the towers down, including WTC7 where the conspiracy started. It was not hit by a plan and is the only known fire proof steel structured skyscraper that has collapsed from a fire. Nanothermite is the suspected ‘what’ and our Government is the suspected ‘who’. Considering what has happened with Benghazi, one has to wonder. Scientifically speaking, nanothermite is super enhanced thermite and can easily cut/melt steel and I will focus on that science and let other play politics.