In a world of information, digital technologies have made copying fast, cheap, and perfect, quiet, independent of cost or complexity of the content. what if the same were to happen in the world of matter? The production cost of a ton of tetra byte RAM chips would be about the same as the production cost of steel. Design costs matter, production costs would not matter.
At the last turn of the century, the average person would have had a hard time trying to understand how cars and airplanes worked, and computers and nuclear bombs exist only in theory. By the next turn of the century, we may have submicroscopic, self-replicating robots; machine people; the end of disease; even immortality.
Hard to imagine? Not for the new breed of scientist who says that the 21st century could see all these science fiction dreams come true the is because of molecular nanotechnology, a hybrid of chemistry and engineering that would let us manufacture anything with atomic precision. In fact, scientists claim that even within the next 50 years, this new technology will change the world in ways we can barely begin to imagine today.
Just as computers break down data into its most basic form 1’s and 0’s — nanotechnology deals with matter in its most elemental form: atoms and molecules.
With a computer, once data is broken down and organized into combinations of 1s and 0s, it can be easily reproduced and distributed. With matter, the basic building blocks are atoms and the combinations of atoms that make up molecules. Nanotechnology lets you manipulate those atoms and molecules, making it possible to manufacture, replicate, and distribute any substance known to humans as easily and cheaply as you can replicate data on a computer.