Aim points

What Aristotle can teach us
about nanotechnology

November 7, 2013

What is “nanotechnology”? There has been enormous confusion, and Aristotle can help to cut through the tangle: …[a] distinction must be drawn; the instruments commonly so called are instruments of production, whilst a possession is an instrument of action. [In weaving, for example,] the shuttle…is not only of use; but something else is made by […]

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Atomic precision or atomically precise design?

November 6, 2013

Why is foldamer engineering a key to unlocking the potential of atomically precise engineering? The reason is that foldamers (polypeptides, polypeptoids, nucleic acids, and the like) form a modular construction kit for a vast, combinatorial range of structures, while most other atomically precise constructs do not. Consider a recent surprising discovery in the world of […]

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Transforming the Material Basis of Civilization
(TEDx talk, take #2)

August 30, 2013

Here’s take #2 of my recent Lisbon TEDx talk. The earlier post linked a version of the talk (take #1, morning) in which the slides often wouldn’t advance and got skipped; I now have the video of the noon redo with debugged visuals: If you’ve linked to the earlier version, please update. If not, then […]

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Software, trust, and proof

August 22, 2013

A recently developed high-performance OS microkernel supports the capability security model and comes with a formal specification and machine-checked proof: it’s called seL4. This is very, very, important. As the NICTA project notes: …software systems are increasingly trusted with critical operations. Yet, the traditional ways in which they are engineered provide limited or no assurance […]

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Must-read papers for anyone
who practices, manages, or thinks
about systems engineering

June 6, 2013

Larger pipes, smaller motors, surprising improvements While in Baku, I met with Amory Lovins, a remarkable physicist / engineer / policy analyst who has changed the world’s understanding of energy systems, how they work, and how they can be radically improved. Amory’s decades of experience and thought have led to deep insights regarding not only […]

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Quiz Question:
What is wrong with this model of computation?

August 3, 2011

In the news today: “Governments, IOC and UN hit by massive cyber attack” (BBC) How did the attack work? In a mind-numbingly ordinary way: “An email would be sent to an individual with the right level of access within the system; attached to the message was a piece of malware which would then execute and […]

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My next book: Radical Abundance, 2013

July 21, 2011

I’m now working on a new book, Radical Abundance, scheduled for publication in 2013 by PublicAffairs. The book has a wide scope in both its content and intended audience, addressing scientists, a general reading audience, and thought leaders in the policy arena. Radical Abundance will integrate and extend several themes that I’ve touched on in […]

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An advance in atomically precise
building-block assembly

May 27, 2011

A paper in Science reports a design method that substantially advances the macromolecular technology base for building atomically precise nanosystems. Background: foldamer engineering As many readers know, biology shows an effective way build large, intricate, atomically precise systems: Use covalent chemistry to build chains of small building blocks, and design these chains to fold into […]

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Nanosystems for India

May 6, 2011

Wiley India publishes textbooks “catering to the needs of Indian students”, and now offers Nanosystems:  Molecular Machinery, Manufacturing, and Computation, the book I wrote on the principles and potential components, architectures, and implementation pathways for high-throughput atomically precise manufacturing systems. Here’s a list of Indian distributors. Wiley India, a branch of John Wiley & Sons, […]

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The Quantum Information Science
and Technology Roadmap
(for example…)

April 24, 2011

Roadmaps are crucial in developing new technology platforms — in other words, for the coordinated development of complete sets of compatible technologies that, taken together, support system-level technologies at a new level. Whether formal or informal, roadmaps address a fundamental problem of risk and mutual expectations in technology development: the problem of giving all necessary […]

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Atomic Layer Deposition
for Atomically-Precise Crystal Fabrication (2)

February 16, 2011

The American Vacuum Society writes to announce ALD 2011, the 11th International Conference on Atomic Layer Deposition: Atomic layer deposition (ALD) is a fast-moving frontier, profoundly impacting diverse applications and gaining momentum for industrialization and manufacturing, while leaving plenty of room for new science and innovation…. ALD is receiving attention for its potential applications from […]

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Updated post on high-throughput atomically precise manufacturing

August 23, 2010

I’ve updated “The Physical Basis of High-Throughput Atomically Precise Manufacturing”. Not a big change, but I expanded the discussion of reliable molecular modeling of selected, highly constrained systems, along the lines discussed here: “Making vs. Modeling: A paradox of progress in nanotechnology”.

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