Nanotechnology is the applied science of working with atomic and molecular sized machines.
- Generally nanotechnology concerns itself with working with things on the scale of 100 nanometers or smaller. Nanotechnology, on a theoretical basis, is generally divided into a weak and a strong period of development based upon capability and pervasiveness of adoption.
Nanotechnological innovations begin around TL–8 with the construction of machines capable of imaging and moving individual atoms. This bottom up approach to construction of devices and materials is quickly supplemented with better understanding of chemical properties and the ability to finely manipulate chemical processes through electrical, magnetic, or photomanipulation techniques. Many of these techniques borrow from biological processes. This places nanotechnology studies somewhere between biology, mechanical engineering, and chemistry.
Grey Goo Scenario
"Grey Goo" is the colloquial name used for an apocalyptic, nightmare scenario in which self-reproducing swarms of nanomachines run rampant transforming entire planets into swathes of slimey wastelands, no longer fit for conventional life. Many other colors of goo exist associated with specific apocalyptic scenarios or industrial uses. Some kinds of goo have been rumored to be intentionally weaponized. It is rumored that sites suffering from apocalyptic grey goo scenarios throughout Charted Space have been red zoned.
- NBIC & COMPUTERS
Many of the technological advances made by TL–9 and beyond have been influenced by the advances of nanotechnology.
Expected Nanotechnology Development Sequence
Technological Overview of Nanotechnology
|Technological Overview of Nanotechnology|
|Tech Epoch / Period||TL-Range||Remarks|
|Industrial Nanotechnology Period||TL:7-9||Industrial Nanotechnology (Proto-Nanotechnology): The earliest prototypical nanotechnology uses industrial manufacturing technologies and bridges the boundaries between an industrial society and a maker society. The first nanocytes, or nanotechnological machines are manufactured by industrial factories using pre-maker technology.|
|Nanotechnological Makertech Period||TL:10-18||Wet Nanotechnology (Makertech): Nanotech processes are a "wet" technology, requiring specialized equipment to create and manipulate. Wet Nanotech is sometimes characterized as "Weak or Early Nanotechnology". Much as Fusion+ once revolutionized energy production from a large-scale infrastructure product to a small-scale cottage industry, Makertech transforms manufacturing technologies making it possible to transform factories, formerly very large scale operations into much smaller, more portable ones. A simple fusion still and maker forge could perform the same quality functions (...not quantity) as a much larger industrial era factory.|
|Nanotechnological Ultra-Tech Period||TL:19-27||Dry Nanotechnology (Ultratech): There remains a large area of study for "dry" nanotechnology, where the nano machines are used outside a laboratory or manufacturing facility to manipulate the environment to a particular end. Dry Nanotech is sometimes characterized as "Strong, Late, or Advanced Nanotech". Ultra-technological Nanotech combines artificial intelligence with advanced micro-technologies hypothetically transforming society and civilization.|
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