Re: Attotechnology

From: Eliezer S. Yudkowsky (
Date: Mon Dec 03 2001 - 13:11:29 MST

"Robert J. Bradbury" wrote:
> Real attotech I think would involve engineering things like
> positronium, muononium, perhaps advanced nucleus engineering
> (new isotopes?). But I don't think you are going to see
> real "technologies" on that scale soon because I don't think
> we have a clue as to how to actually construct sub-atomic sized
> structures that actually last any length of time.

If a one-nanosecond process constituted "nanotechnology", then the first
1GHz transistor would have been "nanotech". To convert seconds to meters,
multiply by the speed of light; 3 x 10^8 m/s. One nanosecond, then,
equals 300 millimeters - hardly verging on the nanoscale! Actual
nanotechnology would involve... why, attoseconds, in fact. Or at least
femtoseconds - I'm pretty sure I saw those being tossed around in

If I recall correctly, a nucleon (proton or neutron) is around the order
of a femtometer; femtotechnology, then, would involve timescales on the
order of yoctoseconds. Attotechnology would be... well, the metric
prefixes don't go that high, so we might as well call it nano-attoseconds.

Would even muononium or monopolium work for attometer-scale precision?
I'd think that only chromotechnology would count as "attotech".

-- -- -- -- --
Eliezer S. Yudkowsky
Research Fellow, Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence

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