X-Message-Number: 21021
Date: Fri, 31 Jan 2003 12:53:32 +0100
From: Henri Kluytmans <>
Subject: nanotech, MNT

Yvan Bozzonetti told me that the MNT concept is mere sci-fi. 
I said it is only techno-fiction, because there seem to be 
no valid scientific arguments against it.

Yvan Bozzonetti replied :

>have a realist view. You have to work with soft 
>proteins, not diamond rods.

Hey, that is not a rational argument, only an opion.

While I tried to explain in detail why it is not **science**-fiction 
but only techno-fiction.

>>And two objects made of diamond, with their surfaces terminated
>>with hydrogen atoms, will not stick together.

>And you want to pump oxygen under high pressure with a carbon 
>structure coated by hydrogen? 

You didn't read correctly, I stated :

"And two objects made of diamond, with their surfaces terminated
with hydrogen atoms, will not stick together."

So the termination with hydrogen was to prevent the two diamondoid 
structures from sticking together, not to prevent a reaction with 
oxygen. To prevent a reaction with oxygen I wrote :

"But the inside surface of the tank can be coated with molecules/atoms 
that are more inert to O2." 

And that certainly doesn't mean hydrogen atoms. But for example 
silicium-oxide or aluminium-oxide would do a much better job.

Please read better next time, and try to avoid constructing 
statements I didn't make...  :(

>That in a device with no room to dump excitation energy? 

As I explained before, thermal energy will be led away
very fast. (Reread my earlier postings, or do I have to 
keep on copying and pasting ??)

>How many microseconds before an explosion?

Not applicable.

>>At atomic scales not everything is sticky.

>... Noble gas are not, beyond that everything or so, is. 

If really everything was sticky many biological systems 
shouldn't be able to work too. Nothing would be able 
to move because al the parts would stick together. 
So biology is already a living proof that not everything 
does stick together...

Furthermore, regarding MNT designs, computational simulations 
using molecular mechanics methods seem to confirm that these 
designs should work as expected and that the parts do not 
stick together. The molecular mechanics algorithms have been 
widely in use in the field of chemistry for many years and have 
already proven themselves to be a reliable way to predict 
behavior of chemical structures. 

For example see :


For an explanation why molecular bearings will not stick together.

Or see :


For an explanation about computational methods.

>Don't forget the van der Waals force.

They didn't, the van der Waals force is implemented in the molecular 
mechanics method.

>now a test to see if you see NMT clearly:


(A story about lettuce was included.)

>If you can't produce a convincing scheme, I'll conclude that 
>your nano ideas are bad sci-fi and you have no idea how to 
>make them real.

Therefore I agreed, they are "techno-fiction", but not science 
fiction. I still haven't seen any valid scientific argument 
against the concept of MNT.

No, if I, or somebody else had a detailed idea of how to realize 
the first assembler the world would already have known by now.

But the fact that the path to get there is not known yet, does 
not consitute a proof that it is scientifically impossible. All 
research done so far seems to confirm that the concept of MNT 
should be possible.

Please tell me a **valid** scientific argument against the MNT 

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