PDA

View Full Version : zero point energy and nanotech



kikisonic
2003-Sep-18, 03:29 AM
How small would a nanomachine have to be to control individual protons and neutrons and electrons? How much zero point energy would be available to this ma supposing that something the mass of a cup could boil over the earthís oceans. Would the energy be enough to move individual protons and neutrons and electrons?

I have an assignment in school where Iím supposed to think of futuristic tech. so I'm well aware of the fact that zero point energy is probably unusable. Also that nanotech could be impossible.

Also how could you send information to nanomachines? And if I am pathetically wrong about my ideas of nanotech and zero point energy tell me. And if you donít want to do the pains stacking math I would understand.

Madcat
2003-Sep-18, 03:49 AM
Energy has to come from someplace. So it seems to me that if you were harnesing zero point energy, you'd be taking it from someplace else... I guess what I'm really saying is you probably can't, but if you can it might do something very bad. I'd stay away from that stuff. I seem to remember reading something in Scientific American once roughly to the effect that some theorists think that the universe might not actually be that robust.

Kizarvexis
2003-Sep-18, 03:51 AM
How small would a nanomachine have to be to control individual protons and neutrons and electrons? How much zero point energy would be available to this ma supposing that something the mass of a cup could boil over the earthís oceans. Would the energy be enough to move individual protons and neutrons and electrons?

I have an assignment in school where Iím supposed to think of futuristic tech. so I'm well aware of the fact that zero point energy is probably unusable. Also that nanotech could be impossible.

Also how could you send information to nanomachines? And if I am pathetically wrong about my ideas of nanotech and zero point energy tell me. And if you donít want to do the pains stacking math I would understand.

Well on zero-point energy; as far as I understand it some theoritical predictons of great amounts of ZPE being available are not borne out by empirical research. One of the more technical posters here will probably need to elaborate on that.

Now, on future tech ideas. I would suggest of thinking of items that we have now that are very useful, but large. Make them smaller and then think about what you could do with them that is new. For example, take a cell phone. Now take your cellphone and make it really small with micro/nanotech. What could you use it for? Someone came up with the idea of using a cell phone on a chip, along with a simple sensor on the same microchip, to scatter into the woods and phone back the readings. (I want to say I read about this in Discover magazine.) In any case taking some current tech, improving it, and then applying it in a new way could be one way to go on this school project. Let your imagination run wild. :)

Kizarvexis
p.s. make sure you spellcheck rigorously :)

Chuck
2003-Sep-18, 07:17 AM
Nanotech devices can be powered by brownian motion. Molecules randomly strike the blades of a paddle wheel, sometimes trying to rotate it clockwise and sometimes counterclockwise, but the paddle wheel is ratcheted so it can turn in only one direction. The paddle wheel turns a shaft which can be made to drive other devices.

eburacum45
2003-Sep-18, 08:41 AM
Well, I think that Nanotech should be defined as the manipulation of molecules, and the manipulation of atoms within molecules where possible;
if you want to overcome certain powerful chemical bonds quickly, such as those holding masses of iron together, you are going to end up using so much energy you will probably fry the nanobots, and melt the iron.
So Nanotech (at first) will probably be most useful for making tiny, complicated objects.

But some people, including Hugo de Garis (http://www.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hugo_de_Garis), have postulated a more advanced type of nanotech, capable of manipulating atoms and subatomic particles to produce fusion and change elements from one to another;
he suggested Picotech as the name for such technology, perhaps followed by Femtotech on the Quark scale; this is just an imaginary progression of advancement which may never happen.
But we at OA have picked it up and run with it in an SF context, so to speak.
http://www.orionsarm.com/tech/picotech.html

kucharek
2003-Sep-18, 08:57 AM
Not exactly on-topic, but a surprising application of todays microelectronics:
Some guys at the university of Wurzburg had the ideo to glue RFID chips at bees (http://www.uni-wuerzburg.de/presse/mitteilungen/wbiene.jpg). This opens up totally new methods of behavioural research. Until now, you could just color-mark a few individuals and track them by video. Now you can mark thousands of them and collect data in any place of interest.

informant
2003-Sep-18, 05:29 PM
How small would a nanomachine have to be to control individual protons and neutrons and electrons?
Wouldn't Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle kind of defeat the idea of manipulating individual electrons?

eburacum45
2003-Sep-18, 06:19 PM
Oh yes; the Uncertainty principle causes great problems at that scale.

You have to be prepared to work with entities which cannot be pinned down to a particular time. place or velocity...

Having said that a certain amount of picoscale manipulation is anticipated to be possible.
For instance this chap is quite optimistic about the prospects for nanocontrolled fusion: http://www.physicspost.com/articles.php?articleId=105&page=1

kikisonic
2003-Sep-18, 08:35 PM
How small would a nanomachine have to be to control individual protons and neutrons and electrons?
Wouldn't Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle kind of defeat the idea of manipulating individual electrons?
well I was thinking that creating a positive magnet on that scale that scale could only atract an electron I dont see what else it could atract

informant
2003-Sep-18, 09:29 PM
Two electrons? :)

Squink
2003-Sep-19, 05:46 AM
Take a look at Quantum Fields LLC (http://www.quantumfields.com/). They have a lovely animation of a small scale oscillator driven by the Casimir effect. There's also several informative, and not too flaky, links relating to vacuum energy fluctuations.