Nanofuture: What's Next for Nanotechnology

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Overview

Flying cars, space travel for everyone, the elimination of poverty and hunger, and powerful new tools to combat disease, and even aging. These are some of the amazing predicted developments of nanotechnology, the coming science of designing and building machines at the molecular and atomic levels. Will this new scientific revolution be for better or worse? Some commentators have described utopias; others have prophesied disaster. Find out the likely reality from an expert, Dr. J. Storrs Hall, in this absorbing insider’s guide to the near future.

Dr. Hall — a leading researcher on the frontiers of nanotechnology who has designed for NASA — describes nanotechnology in a very accessible way, so that anyone can understand what it’s about, what it could do, and what it can’t do. He puts it into historical context, explaining how previous technological developments have affected us, how nanotechnology fits into the historical trends for technologies ranging from motors to medicine, and how the continuation of these trends, with nanotechnology as a strong determining factor, will have a profound impact on the future.

In addition to describing his famous invention Utility Fog, Hall explains how nanotechnology will make possible many of the science fiction dreams of the past. But what hurdles, technological, political, or social, stand in the way? What dangers will this powerful new technology pose? How will it impact the environment? Can we afford to develop it? Can we afford not to? The true dangers are not what you may think, and are far different from the fears of today’s alarmists. In a straightforward, balanced manner, Dr. Hall analyzes the benefits as well as the potential risks.

Together with its sister science of biotechnology, nanotechnology has the potential to alter the very human race, change who we are. Can this possibly be good? Should it be encouraged or opposed? No one knows for sure, but the basis for informed thought can be found in these exciting, stimulating pages, which will open the doors of the future to you.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Nanotechnology has become a hot topic in recent years, but few laypeople understand what it is. Hall writes that nanotechnology "involves building machines whose parts are of molecular size, but more importantly, of atomic precision...." He foresees nanotechnology progressing through five stages of development, stage one being our current ability to image objects at an atomic scale with a limited ability to manipulate them, and stage five being the ability of miniature robots to reproduce and learn from experience. A fellow of the Molecular Engineering Research Institute in Palo Alto, Calif., Hall devotes a chapter to his own concept, "Utility Fog," a fog composed of nanoparticles that will coalesce to form sofas, coffee tables and maybe even artificial plants, and then disintegrate back into fog. More realistic predictions include thin body suits that will control body temperature, allowing people to live in the tropics or in the Arctic and medical advances that will send artificial antibodies into the bloodstream to destroy bacteria or viruses. Hall admits that civilization could face many dangers as nanotechnology advances, but he argues that banning its development in the U.S. would only result in other countries or groups gaining technological dominance. Readers excited by the promises of nanotechnology will find this book a gripping read. (May) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781591022879
  • Publisher: Prometheus Books
  • Publication date: 4/22/2005
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 1,188,447
  • Product dimensions: 6.32 (w) x 9.27 (h) x 0.97 (d)

Meet the Author

J. Storrs Hall, Ph.D. (Laporte, PA), is Chief Scientist of Nanorex, Inc. and a Fellow of the Molecular Engineering Research Institute. He served as a Computer Systems Architect at the Laboratory for Computer Science Research at Rutgers University from 1985 to 1997. He is the author of the "Nanotechnologies" section for The Macmillan Encyclopedia of Energy, among many scientific articles, and has been cited in numerous books.
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 14, 2006

    75% good, 25% a bit silly

    The cover of the book got my attention so I read through it over the course of a few weeks. The background information enables one to understand the nanotechnology capabilities and challenges. From that point, the author jumps into several scenarios on how this nanotech will impact society. Many of the ideas are facinating and appear to be very possible. There are some ideas and concepts which appear to be somewhat 'silly'. Having our planet run out of real estate seems to be way off base. I find that most people who live on either the extreme east or west coast of the U.S.A. to have that opinion. We have plenty of land here on planet Earth if nanotechnology does all it can do as described in this book. Also, having the bad guys cook up nuclear fissionable material in a commercial table top box (which is supposed to be making food, clothing and the like) seems a bit off base. However, the majority of the books predictions not only seem feasible, the author has outlined the basic building blocks required for us to reach that level of technonlogy.

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