2013/11/21: Eric Drexler: Drexler, Oxford University

by Gene Kim on


Thanks to Oregon Episcopal School for hosting this lecture and letting me attend!

Up: Dr. Eric Drexler lecture on nanotech, Oxford University (http://t.co/BlWzirkSus)

  • @oessci: Intriguing presentation by Dr Eric Drexler as speaker LPLS #isepp http://t.co/BlWzirkSus
  • Dr. Eric Drexler: "From Macromolecular Engineering to Atomically Precise Manufacturing", started at MIT doing space science engr
  • Drexler: "Thus was the transition from macroengineering to atomically precise manufacturing (i.e., nanotech, the term he coined)
  • Drexler: "Exploratory Engineering is entire domain between current engineering & physics (forbidden)" Haha.
  • Drexler: "Exploratory Engineering: tools to build better tools: hand ax, blacksmithing, tools for industrial rev, chip wafers"
  • Drexler: "My book about nanotech from 1986 talked about materials science, not little bugs that will make anything/eat the world
  • Drexler: "People ask, 'where's result of billions of $$ of research? no bugs eating world'; look at any chip fab: $300B/yr industry
  • Drexler: "There actually has been tons of progress in last 20 yrs of materials science, but we don't call it nanotech
  • (You can read about Dr. Eric Drexler here: Wired article: http://t.co/BlWzirkSus)
  • Drexler: "We can now engineer atoms at scales of 10s (quantum dots), to million atoms (protein engineering) by stapling atoms
  • Drexler: "When people hear 'protein,' they think 'meat' which is mostly water; protein includes silk, horn (that's weapons grade)
  • Drexler: "By protein & DNA researchers working together, I see world where we can build true complex systems (motherboard, chips)
  • Drexler: "Soon, we'll be able to reinvent factories; instead of factory, just put stuff in bag & shake" haha
  • factory style machines perform motions; mechanical motions guide molecules; reactive molecules bound on contact, precisely guilded molecular motions
  • Drexler: "we've now modeled construction of nanotech planetary gears, differential gear, spur gears" (Wow)
  • Drexler: "Mechanical laws scale; velocities are independent of scale; 1 m/s is good for macro and nano; operating frequencies scale; think 106 increase in frequency for chips"
  • Drexler: "Machines operating at nanoscale could operate a frequencies millions time faster: think chip frequencies, cycle times"
  • Drexler: "10^7 increase in efficiency happens rarely: chemical > thermonuclear; driving > spaceflight; incredible advances coming
  • Drexler: (Wow. Blowing my mind: He's painting vision of true 10^7 scaling; multi-ton things being built in minutes on printers)
  • Drexler: "The era of huge, toxic factories will end; instead, just combine the raw matrls in 3d printer, major byproduct is water"
  • Drexler: "This is what the factory of the future will look like: a 3d printer"
  • Drexler: "They've now built 3-step motors at nanotech scales, all that can be synchronized at macroscales"
  • Drexler: "Atomically Precise Manufacturing then enables even bigger breakthroughs:
  • Drexler: "Scientific inquiry vs Engr design are antiparallel activities: opposite info flow" Whoa.
  • Drexler: "Scientists go from physical > description > abstract mode; engineers go in opposite direction: model > desc > physical
  • Drexler: "Scientists love simplest theory/instance; Engineers love greatest choice/utility"
  • Drexler: showing amazing info flow between science and engineers
  • Drexler just finished a book called "Radical Abundance" to describe where this field is going