The nanosciences and their companion nanotechnologies are a hot
topic all around the world. For some, they promise developments
ranging from nanobots to revolutionary new materials. For others,
they raise the specter of Big Brother and of atomically modified
organisms (AMOs). This book is a counterbalance to spin and
paranoia alike, asking us to consider what the nanosciences really
are.Nanosciences are not just a branch of materials sciences, a
common misrepresentation fostered in the funding wars. Nor should
nanotechnology be confused with miniaturization, a convergence of
microelectronics, biotechnology and lab-on-chip techniques. These
misconceptions arise from a well-orchestrated US policy dating from
the mid-1990s, in which the instrument that lies at the heart of
the true nanoscience revolution - the scanning tunneling microscope
(STM) - plays just a minor part. These issues are covered here for
the first time in a book by a scientist who holds two Feynman
prizes in nanotechnology and who has played a significant role in
the birth of the nanosciences. Writing from the cutting edge and
with an understanding of the real nature of nanoscience, the author
provides a scientific and historical perspective on the subject, a
response to the misplaced ethical concerns of objectors and to the
scaremongering of the popular press.
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