Re: "Matter Cube" for Portable Assemblers

Anders Sandberg (
Thu, 30 Jan 1997 14:25:13 +0100 (MET)

On Wed, 29 Jan 1997, Chris Hind wrote:

> In isolated
> environments such as spacecraft or colonies or for use with portable
> assemblers, wouldn't we need a central matter repository where all waste
> would be recycled, stored, and reused?

I wonder if a single, central matter cube is the ideal solution. With
nanotech, it would probably work just as well with a lot of tiny cubelets
instead of a big black box in the engineering section; they would be much
closer to their user systems (reducing piping and delays), be much safer
("Captain! The matter cube is reacting with the dilithium crystals!") and
not loose much due to scale (from a nanite's point of view one millimeter
and one meter looks the same - infinity).

> How could you engineer a dense cube
> of matter while keeping groups of molecules inert, non-reactive, and
> isolated from each other to prevent unwanted reactions?

Diamondoid would probably work quite well for the structure, covered with
suitable molecules in some storage bins. Each bin would contain a standard
molecule or nanotech part, and the walls would contain conveyor belts to
transport them away for use. How to choose the best standard molecules is
a big problem, sounds like something that we could extrapolate from
_Nanosystems_. (Ever noticed how nanotech people always refer to the book
when faced with a hard question - just like Jehova's Witnesses :-)

Anders Sandberg Towards Ascension!
GCS/M/S/O d++ -p+ c++++ !l u+ e++ m++ s+/+ n--- h+/* f+ g+ w++ t+ r+ !y