ATomic scale manufacturing now possible

Discussion in 'Science' started by Jonsa, May 24, 2018.

  1. Jonsa

    Jonsa Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    This is so cool and unlocks gigantic technological potential.

    https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/05/180523104300.htm

    Atomic-scale manufacturing now a reality
    Forthcoming manufacturing revolution akin to the arrival of the printing press

    Scientists have applied a machine learning technique using artificial intelligence to perfect and automate atomic-scale manufacturing, something which has never been done before. The vastly greener, faster, smaller technology enabled by this development greatly reduces impact on the climate while still satisfying the insatiable demands of the information age.
     
  2. Herby

    Herby Active Member Past Donor

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    I had a look at this, but unfortunately the comparison to the printing press is simply wrong.

    The referenced paper describes an automated process to sharpen a probe tip used to write patterns at a single atom scale. The issue here is that they're still working with a single probe that interacts with single atoms, which is far from ideal for mass manufacturing. To use the analogy in the article, I'd say it's not good enough to have a fast method to sharpen your pencil to write books in volume. Even if you're able to write really fast with a pencil (or you have a machine that does it for you), the working principle of a printing press is generally superior. The printing press creates a whole page in only a few steps, while you have to write every single character one after another with a pencil.

    Integrated circuits are affordable because they're manufactured in a manner similar to the printing press. Photolithography allows processing of many features in parallel, just like the printing press does. If every single transistor and connection on a complex modern IC (there are sometimes billions of them) would have to be manufactured one after another, it would take a very long time to get the job done and it would be prohibitively expensive.

    Someone may develop a method to mass produce atomic scale electronics of an appreciable complexity in the future, but this is definitely not it yet. Sorry. On the plus side, state of the art photolithography has a half-pitch of about 10nm, while the lattice constant of silicon is ~0.5nm. That's only a little more than one order of magnitude to go. :)
     
  3. Jonsa

    Jonsa Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    proof of concept, AI driven single atom manufacturing is now a thing.
    Now imagine an array of thousands of AI directed probes working at hundreds of cycles per second.

    I wasn't suggesting this is end result. This is merely Wright's Flyer.
     
  4. DoctorWho

    DoctorWho Well-Known Member

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    I see the potential sans fluff.

    Many great things to come with the advances of Nano Technology.

    Hybrid robots or Nanites, the size of human blood cells that can be injected into the human body and pre programed to attack cancer cells and tumors as well as destroy viruli and bacterium, foreign bodies, with links to computers outside the body to assist in Nanite operations.

    This is a very old concept in applied technologies related to human immunology.
     
  5. Jonsa

    Jonsa Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    Like many visionary concepts, one that was heretofore beyond our technological capability. Seen a lot of that over the years.
     
  6. Spooky

    Spooky Well-Known Member Donor

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    I believe cancer cells are normal cells that are changing, they aren't being attacked.

    Kill off too many and you die anyways.

    That's the problem with cancer.

    You'd need to stop the genetic change before it happens, its pointless after the fact.
     
  7. Jonsa

    Jonsa Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    ACtually its not pointless after the fact. We can still saves lives.

    I agree that genetic engineering is the only way to eliminate cancer cells originating in the body. given the politics and ethics of the research required to create a genetic level remedy, I think we are decades away from that happening.
     
  8. DoctorWho

    DoctorWho Well-Known Member

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    And you are completely wrong.
    Do some research young lady.
     
  9. Spooky

    Spooky Well-Known Member Donor

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    Certainly I could be wrong but by how much?

    You don't "pick up" cancer it develops in your own system.

    Is that correct or not?
     

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