« I Need Minions... | Main | Time to Learn from Tojo Hideki... »

May 16, 2005

COINS Is Inching... No, Nanometering... Forward

From Berkeley's Science Matters:

Nanoscience's Master Mechanic: This fall, UC Berkeley is launching a new $11.9 million center for researchers to design and test novel motors, sensors, batteries, and other mechanical components. What will set this center apart from most engineering endeavors is that none of the devices built there will be visible without an electron microscope. The Center of Integrated Nanomechanical Systems (COINS) aims to develop a storehouse of mechanical components hundreds of times smaller than the diameter of a human hair. Physics professor Alex Zettl is leading the charge, having recently demonstrated a conveyor belt for ferrying atoms, the world's smallest nanomotor, and an oscillator based on drops of liquid metal that weight just one-quadrillionth of a gram.

I am no Associate Director for Societal and Ethical Implications of this thing, COINS. It is becoming more and more clear that there will indeed be a thing called "nanotechnology". But what will be its social, economic, and ethical implications? It's going to be a hard puzzle...

Posted by DeLong at May 16, 2005 01:49 PM