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Current Results of Our Research

These pages, marked with GREEN headings, are published for comment and criticism. These are not our final findings; some of these opinions will probably change.   LOG OF UPDATES 

CRN Research: Overview of Current Findings   

bulletTimeline for Molecular Manufacturing   
bulletProducts of Molecular Manufacturing
bulletBenefits of Molecular Manufacturing
bulletDangers of Molecular Manufacturing  
bulletNo Simple Solutions
bulletAdministration Options
bulletThe Need for Early Development
bulletThe Need for International Development
bulletThirty Essential Nanotechnology Studies
bulletStudy #17     YOU ARE HERE

Thirty Essential Nanotechnology Studies - #17

Overview of all studies: Because of the largely unexpected transformational power of molecular manufacturing, it is urgent to understand the issues raised. To date, there has not been anything approaching an adequate study of these issues. CRN's recommended series of thirty essential studies is organized into five sections, covering fundamental theory, possible technological capabilities, bootstrapping potential, product capabilities, and policy questions. Several preliminary conclusions are stated, and because our understanding points to a crisis, a parallel process of conducting the studies is urged. 

CRN is actively looking for researchers interested in performing or assisting with this work. Please contact CRN Research Director Chris Phoenix if you would like more information or if you have comments on the proposed studies.

Study #17 Which of today's products will the system make more accessible or cheaper?
  For each suggested product, determine if the cost, compactness, or functionality could be enhanced by an order of magnitude or more, compared to present alternatives.
Subquestion Computers (logic)?
Preliminary answer More efficient by six orders of magnitude. Smaller by perhaps four (vs. transistor) or seven (vs. packaged chip) orders of magnitude.
Subquestion Basic physical structure?
Preliminary answer Maybe two orders lighter for tension, more for compression. Due to more efficient use of material, the cost of finished products may be substantially less than today's raw materials cost for a comparable product.
Subquestion Actuators?
Preliminary answer Eight orders of magnitude smaller vs. today's electric motors.
Subquestion Avionics?
Preliminary answer Perhaps three or four orders of magnitude lighter.
Subquestion Medical devices?
Preliminary answer Molecular sensors may be sub-micron; actuators likewise; whole new classes of device will become possible. These new classes will show improvements of 10-1000 fold over natural biological systems (a technically defensible claim, based on Robert Freitas's device design papers, Nanomedicine, etc.).
Subquestion Sensors?
Preliminary answer Many sensors will be many orders of magnitude smaller and cheaper. More precise for nearly all sensors, due to more precise manufacturing and accessibility of higher-tech detection and amplification.
Subquestion Integrated systems (e.g. robotics)?
Preliminary answer Similar to avionics. Orders of magnitude more integrated computer power will allow greater functionality.
Subquestion Compact systems (e.g. surveillance, medical)?
Preliminary answer Yes.
Subquestion Energy systems (e.g. solar collection, storage, transport/transmission)?
Preliminary answer Several kinds of solar collector should be buildable with a few grams per square meter/kilowatt. Several kinds of efficient energy storage are possible.
Subquestion Large systems (e.g. infrastructure, civil engineering)?
Preliminary answer Cheap, fast manufacturing of strong materials should allow large projects to be undertaken. Fast design of special-purpose robotics should reduce labor costs of installation, including for projects that must be fabricated in pieces.
Conclusion Diamondoid nanofactory molecular manufacturing will be revolutionary and highly disruptive in many areas of high-tech as well as low-tech manufacturing, including aerospace, energy, and medical technologies.
Other studies 1. Is mechanically guided chemistry a viable basis for a manufacturing technology?
2. To what extent is molecular manufacturing counterintuitive and underappreciated in a way that causes underestimation of its importance?
What is the performance and potential of diamondoid machine-phase chemical manufacturing and products?
4. What is the performance and potential of biological programmable manufacturing and products?
5. What is the performance and potential of nucleic acid manufacturing and products?
6. What other chemistries and options should be studied?
What applicable sensing, manipulation, and fabrication tools exist?
8. What will be required to develop diamondoid machine-phase chemical manufacturing and products?
9. What will be required to develop biological programmable manufacturing and products?
10. What will be required to develop nucleic acid manufacturing and products?
11. How rapidly will the cost of development decrease?
12. How could an effective development program be structured?
What is the probable capability of the manufacturing system?
14. How capable will the products be?
15. What will the products cost?
16. How rapidly could products be designed?
18. What new products will the system make accessible?
19. What impact will the system have on production and distribution?
20. What effect will molecular manufacturing have on military and government capability and planning, considering the implications of arms races and unbalanced development?
21. What effect will this have on macro- and microeconomics?
22. How can proliferation and use of nanofactories and their products be limited?
23. What effect will this have on policing?
24. What beneficial or desirable effects could this have?
25. What effect could this have on civil rights and liberties?
26. What are the disaster/disruption scenarios?
27. What effect could this have on geopolitics?
28. What policies toward development of molecular manufacturing does all this suggest?
29. What policies toward administration of molecular manufacturing does all this suggest?
30. How can appropriate policy be made and implemented?
Studies should begin immediately. The situation is extremely urgent. The stakes are unprecedented, and the world is unprepared. The basic findings of these studies should be verified as rapidly as possible (months, not years). Policy preparation and planning for implementation, likely including a crash development program, should begin immediately.

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