If you’ve seen the “Transformers” series of movies you’ve seen what may be viewed as the epitome of nanotechnology. I was fascinated by the scenes where tiny robots, or tiny life forms in the movie, created complete structures and machines as they acted together. But, isn’t that type of thing simple science-fiction?
Let’s take a look, and I’ll let you decide.
Let me begin by saying I’m grateful to each one following my blog, that is too new to remember the “Top 10 Futuristic Story-lines” from my soon-to-be-released book “South Pole Vendetta”. Thanks to each of you!
For those who have been faithfully following this journey of crooks and crannies – we are so grateful for each of you.
Just a quick review:
Futuristic story lines from “South Pole Vendetta”:
10. The South Pole – no longer inaccessible
9. Heroes don’t have to sleep with everyone who comes along.
8. North Korea is looking for respect and power on the world’s biggest stages.
7. Is there really an ocean of oil under the South Pole?
6. The atlatl is an actual, legitimate, weapon – sort of.
5. The division of Antarctica between so many nations is a volatile situation.
4. Unmanned military airplanes will continue to evolve.
3. Nanotechnology will change warfare in the near future.
2. The Switchblade may be the next generation of military aircraft.
Where’s the evidence for global warming?
We are down to the final three topics that were of interest to me as I researched the story. The top three subjects that I believe will impact warfare in the future. The other seven can be found in earlier blogs found throughout this site.
This article is about number three: Nanotechnology
Wikipedia says, “Nanotechnology (sometimes shortened to “nanotech”) is the manipulation of matter on an atomic and molecular scale. The earliest, widespread description of nanotechnology referred to the particular technological goal of precisely manipulating atoms and molecules for fabrication of macroscale products, also now referred to as molecular nanotechnology.”
IOPScience, which describes themselves as a site “dedicated to coverage of all aspects of nanoscale science and technology from a multidiscipline perspective” goes on to get
way too deep for me. But they do mention that nanotechnology’s “Impact Factor” has increased from 3.652 to 3.979. If that’s on a scale of one to four that’s impressive; if it’s on a scale of one to ten – still pretty impressive; if it’s one to one hundred it really doesn’t make much difference. But, since they mentioned it, I’m thinking it’s probably a pretty big deal. And, I’m quite sure that some scientist much smarter than I am, is doing cartwheels somewhere over it.
The site azonano.com was much more useful for me. Will Sutter states, “It is generally agreed that advances in nanotechnology will drive the next paradigm shift in science and technology. Whilst many commercial applications of nanotechnology remain theoretical, we now have the capability to manipulate and restructure materials at the nanoscale (typically between 1 and 100 nanometres). Technologies such as Scanning Probe Microscopy and Atomic Force Microscopy allow us to image and move individual atoms on a surface.
“These advances are beginning to have repercussions across all areas of technology, and many products containing nanoparticles are already on the market. Industries and governments across the world are investing heavily in nanotechnology – in 2003, the governments of the industrialized countries spent almost US$ 3 billion on research and development in nanotechnology.
“As with most new technologies, however, military applications of nanotechnology are likely to be the first to be realized. The main aims of military research into nanotechnology are to improve medical and casualty care for soldiers, and to produce lightweight, strong and multi-functional materials for use in clothing, both for protection and to provide enhanced connectivity.”
If you’re interested, a very interesting site is http://nano–tech.blogspot.com/p/military.html
This is where I got pretty excited! Yeah, gadgets and gismos have always had a soft spot in my head – I mean “heart”.
“Improved body armour is a major focus for military nanotechnology research. Several different technologies have been explored, some of which will be operational in just a few years time:
“Si or TiO2 nanoparticles embedded in epoxy matrix
SiO2 nanoparticles in a liquid polymer which hardens on ballistic impact (Shear Thickening Fluid)
Iron nanoparticles in inert oil which hardens on stimulation with an electrical pulse (Magnetorheological Fluid)”. My spell-checker just blew up from overload, because the language is even newly advancing!
Based upon these indications of dynamic advancement in the next few years, I was able to come to what I felt was a fairly easy conclusion. If these type of technologies are on the horizon, is it that much of a stretch to believe that new cold weather clothing, body armor like I pursue in the book, and other military applications, can be very far behind?
Maybe nanotechnology is no longer science-fiction after all.