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Re: [nanotech] The Self-Assembler

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  • Chris Phoenix
    ... Looks to me like defining a new term rather than a specific invention. This can be useful--it s hard to spread a paradigm you can t talk about. I m a bit
    Message 1 of 4 , Mar 9, 2001
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      Steven Lenhert wrote:
      >
      > Dear Nanotech List,
      > What do you think of the "self-assembler"? Is it new, or did I reinvent
      > the wheel?
      > http://nanotech.about.com/library/weekly/aa030901a.htm

      Looks to me like defining a new term rather than a specific invention.
      This can be useful--it's hard to spread a paradigm you can't talk
      about. I'm a bit concerned that the namespace in this area is already
      pretty full, and so your word could be confusing. At first I thought it
      was redundant, because a common (though admittedly sloppy) usage is to
      assume that a nanotech "assembler" is capable of assembling a copy of
      itself.

      Patterns that can copy themselves are not inherently hard, but I've seen
      a surprising amount of surprise in the media reports of autocatalytic
      proteins etc. So it may be that this "self-assembler" is a timely
      concept.

      I have to disagree with your assertion that the pick-and-place method is
      "likely inferior" to self-assembly. There are things that you can do
      very efficiently in water such as grow ionic crystals and use protein
      enzymes. There are other things that you can probably only do in high
      vacuum (or high temperature) such as grow diamondoid. Don't forget that
      digital computers have been far more useful than analog computers even
      though analog computers are inherently far more efficient. Eventually
      we will want to build a device with 10^16 parts, *all different*. There
      is no way to do that with self-assembly.

      You said that the enabling device for molecular nanotech has yet to be
      "shown feasible." That is a fuzzy concept, and I think that it *has*
      been shown feasible--just with 2010 or 2020 technology. It would be
      more accurate to say "Is not feasible today" or "has not been
      demonstrated".

      Chris

      --
      Chris Phoenix cphoenix@... http://www.best.com/~cphoenix
      Interests: nanotechnology, dyslexia, caving, filk, SF, ...
      Is your paradigm shift automatic or stick?
    • Steven Lenhert
      Dear Nanotech List, What do you think of the self-assembler ? Is it new, or did I reinvent the wheel? http://nanotech.about.com/library/weekly/aa030901a.htm
      Message 2 of 4 , Mar 9, 2001
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        Dear Nanotech List,
        What do you think of the "self-assembler"? Is it new, or did I reinvent
        the wheel?
        http://nanotech.about.com/library/weekly/aa030901a.htm

        'Despite the obvious existance of a biomolecular nanotechnology [5], the
        enabling device for nanotechnology termed "the assembler" [6] has yet to
        be shown feasible. Many people share a vision of a nanotechnology where
        a nanorobotic "assembler" (see figure) strategically picks up and
        positions atoms or molecules in a specific place. However, researchers
        who have mastered the art of moving atoms [7] and molecules [8] agree
        that such an approach to molecular manufacturing is likely inferior to
        other fabrication methods such as self-assembly [9] and templating [10],
        the very same methods used by biological systems to assemble
        biomolecular components. Thus it seems that a more promising device
        would be a "self-assembler." I define a self-assembler as: "a device
        that uses methods such as self-assembly and templating in order to
        rapidly assemble devices with large scale molecular precision."'

        -Steve
      • eugene.leitl@lrz.uni-muenchen.de
        ... Self-assembly was the predominating autopoeitic paradigm of early nano research (early 1980s and probably before (I haven t checked)). The Drexler/Merkle
        Message 3 of 4 , Mar 9, 2001
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          Steven Lenhert wrote:
          >

          > What do you think of the "self-assembler"? Is it new, or did I reinvent
          > the wheel?

          Self-assembly was the predominating autopoeitic paradigm of early nano
          research (early 1980s and probably before (I haven't checked)). The Drexler/Merkle
          nanorobotics approach is relatively new in comparision.

          Self-assembly is probably sufficiently powerful for making molecular circuitry,
          and is furthermore nicely complementary to top-down stuff (manipulative proximal
          probe).

          I think such hybrid systems will have great utility, also in the bootstrapping.
        • Steve Wish
          ... Sounds like the way scientits are thinking about the first life on earth...complexity theory again... wish.
          Message 4 of 4 , Mar 9, 2001
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            Steven Lenhert wrote:

             I define a self-assembler as: "a device
            that uses methods such as self-assembly and templating in order to
            rapidly assemble devices with large scale molecular precision."'
             
              Sounds like the way scientits are thinking about the first life on earth...complexity theory again... wish.

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