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Nanotechnology is the postulated ability to manufacture objects and structures with atomic precision, literally atom by atom. This would mirror the abilities of living cells (which do exactly the same thing, although based on evolution and not design).

This technology will have tremendous potential if it can be developed; simple applications involve the creation of new and powerful materials, perfect diamond in bulk quantities and a tool to manipulate objects on any scale. More advanced applications would involve massively parallel nanocomputers, self-replication and more or less bright nanodevices able to interact with their surroundings.

Since there are tremendous amounts of material on nanotechnology and its possibilities, implementation and limitations, I will concentrate mainly on its applications in transhumanism and some technical aspects.


Other Websites

Engineering and Daily Life
Social and Economic Aspects

The Memetics of Nanotechnology
Other Sites
See Also



What is Nanotechnology?
Nanotechnology page by Ralph Merkle, one of the foremost nanotechnologists. Explains what Nanotechnology is about and contains many useful links to various documents.
Engines of Creation: The Coming Era of Nanotechnology by Eric K. Drexler. The entire text of the book, which deals with nanotechnology and its possibilities. A must read for everybody!
NanoTechnology Magazine. A very enthusiastic page for a popular science magazine about nanotechnology.
The Written Testimony of Dr. Eric Drexler to the Senate Hearing on "New Technologies for a Sustainable World".
Thinking Small by Mark Pesce.
Wired reality check about nanotechnology. When can we expect to see nanotechnology?

Other Websites

Jim's Molecular Nanotechnology Web. A very good overview of nanotechnology and web resources.
Sean Morgan's Nanotechnology Page
Nanotechnology Page at Xerox
Brad Hein's Nanotechnology Page. A very good overview of net resources on nanotechnology.
NanoSource. A public domain website for the collaboration, storage and evolution of information related to nanotechnology.
NanoLink - Key Nanotechnology Sites on the Web
Atoma: Matter will become software. Has a very good link collection.
Nanotechnology in Yahoo


The Foresight Institute. The foremost organization for education about nanotechnology.
L.A. Nanotech Study Group Home Page
Nanotechnology Journal A journal on nanoscale science and technology.
Nanocomputer Dream Team. An attempt to use the internet for collaborative work on a nanocomputer design.
Institute of Atomic-Scale Engineering. An organization devoted to the promotion and development of Molecular Nanotechnology. Includes many papers about mesoscale devices.
Institute for Molecular Manufacturing
Center for Nanoscale Science And Technology ar Rice University
The NAS Computational Molecular Nanotechnology Group
Zyvex. The first molecular nanotechnology development company.
Molecular Manufacturing Enterprises Incorporated (MMEI). Provides seed capital, advice, contacts, and other support services to researchers and business people developing key advances towards nanotechnology.


It's a Small, Small, Small, Small World by Ralph C. Merkle. A very complete overview of nanotechnology.
Nanotechnology Timeline. An overview of the technical steps that have to be solved to reach a nanoscale replicator.
Molecular Manufacturing: Adding Positional Control to Chemical Synthesis by Ralph C. Merkle.




This is one of the most promising and dramatic applications of nanotechnology, closely related to research in life extension and cryonics.

Nanomedicine in NanoThinc.
The Molecular Repair of the Brain by Ralph C. Merkle. Discusses the feasibility of repairing damage from cryonic suspension using nanotechnology.


One of the most dramatic abilities of nanotechnology would be the production of extremely small and powerful computers in unlimited quantities.Drexler's mechanical "rod logic" demonstrates that it is possible to devise general purpose processors with a volume less than 105 cubic nanometers, and if electrochemical processes are used they can become much faster.
Nanoelectronics and Nanocomputing Home Page
Ultimate Theoretical Models of Nanocomputers by Michael P. Frank. How powerful can a nanocomputer structure become?

See also: Advanced Computing

Engineering and Daily Life


Nanotechnology is extremely powerful, and if developed will play a central role in the survival of humanity - or its extinction.

Nanotechnology and the Next 50 Years by R. E. Smalley. A presentation explaining what nanotechnology is and why we need it to survive.
The Nanotech Future: A Digital Conversation with BC Crandall by Arthur and Marilouise Kroker. How to reap the benefits from nanotechnology without accidentally (or deliberately) ending all DNA-based life? Memetic engineering might be an answer.
Nanotechnology and Global Security by admiral David E. Jeremiah (Ret).


Engines of Creation: The Coming Era of Nanotechnology by Eric K. Drexler. The entire text of the book, which deals with nanotechnology and its possibilities.
Unbounding the Future: the Nanotechnology Revolution by Eric Drexler and Chris Peterson, with Gayle Pergamit.
Review of Unbounding the Future by John Murray.
Nanosystems: molecular machinery, manufacturing, and computation. The first published purely technical study of nanotechnology.
Becoming Immortal: Nanotechnology, You, and the Demise of Death by Wesley M. Du Charme, Ph.D. Book about nanotechnology and how it might make life extension, cryonics and immortalism possible.
Kadath in the Cold Waste by Edward Keyes. Short story covering many transhuman questions.

The Memetics of Nanotechnology

The idea of nanotechnology has one big problem: it is so radical, so powerful that it is hard for many people to accept ("Molecule sized robots in my blood curing cancer, stopping aging and removing bad breath? Yeah, right."), and once one has accepted the basic premise it is easy to become a devout believer that sees it as the salvation from all problems ("It will end scarcity, give peace and immortality!"). Neither view is rational, but they tend to be loud from time to time, which hurts the development of real nanotechnology.

The Problem of Nonsense in Nanotechnology by K. Eric Drexler. How to avoid nonsense?
The Foresight Institute vs Scientific American Debate on nanotechnology. In April 1996 Scientific American published an inaccurate and biased news story on nanotechnology, which led to a debate between the journal and proponents of nanotechnology (chronicled here). The most interesting aspect in this case is the use of the web as a scientific forum, which turned out to be very useful.

Other Sites


K. Eric Drexler, Engines of Creation: The Coming Era of Nanotechnology, Anchor Books 1986.

Eric Drexler and Chris Peterson, with Gayle Pergamit, Unbounding the Future: the Nanotechnology Revolution, William Morrow and Company, Inc. 1991

K. Eric Drexler: Nanosystems (Wiley, 1992) 0-471-57518-6

Robert Freitas, Nanomedicine, Landes Bioscience 1999

Journal of Molecular Modelling

See also

Relevant Newsgroup: sci.nanotech.

Anders Sandberg /