Week 9 - NANOTECH, by Jonathan Diamond

                Okay so to begin this semi-final blog, I would just like to talk about how amazing the space elevator would be, if produced. (To make this a viable idea, nanotechnology would be utilized to create the carbon tubes).  This movie: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pnwZmWoymeI does a very good job in describing exactly how the space elevator works, and how the nanotubes are created.  Then this movie (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WJxhoJ8GUOU&NR=1) does an incredible job at unleashing your imagination— pushing the limits to where reality stops and science fiction begins.  Near the end of the film new ideas are brought forth regarding an existence where these space elevators become easily produced:  there will exist commercial access to space, new industries will form, solar satellites could be created to harness solar energy and send surpluses to earth in an effort to end our energy crisis, lunar base could become an extremely viable possibility and commercial space travel can become a reality as well.  A space elevator could also be constructed on other planets such as mars.  A mars cable could be much shorter than one on Earth. Mars’ surface gravity is 38% of Earth’s, even though it rotates around its axis in about the same time as Earth.  Due to this fact, the orbit at which items must be to achieve tangential fall is much lower, and thus, the elevator would be much shorter. Carbon nanotubes might not be required to construct the mars elevator due to its shortness, however, building a Martian elevator would be a challenge because the moon Phobos is in a low orbit, and intersects the equator twice every orbit.

                Asside from the space elevator, 2008 has been a year for many new nano-inventions.  One of such inventions is a contact lense with circuits, lights a possible platform for superhuman vision.

Engineers at the University of Washington used manufacturing techniques at microscopic scales to combine a flexible, biologically safe contact lens with an imprinted electronic circuits and lights.  “Looking through a completed lens, you would see what the display is generating superimposed on the world outside,” said Babak Parviz, a UW assistant professor of electrical engineering. “This is a very small step toward that goal, but I think it’s extremely promising.”  The uses for this form of device are almost limitless: professional drivers or pilots could see speeds without taking their eyes away from their primary jobs, an entire new generation of video game virtual reality could be produced, people could even have their computer “monitors” be inside their eyes.  Although testing has only been done on a rabbit for twenty minutes (results: zero adverse effects), human testing has not yet begun.  Ideally, installing or removing the bionic eye would be as easy as popping a contact lens in or out, and once installed the wearer would barely know the gadget was there”, Parviz said.  It has been announced that prototypes will not correct vision, however later down the line, such could also be worked into the lenses.  This research and invention is being funded by National Science Foundation and a Technology Gap Innovation Fund from the University of Washington.  WE shall see how soon this amazing gadget becomes a reality.

 

by, Jonathan Diamond

7 Responses to “Week 9 - NANOTECH, by Jonathan Diamond”

  1. jordyn miller says:

    If you need human testing I would help volunteer

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