Re: >H Happy New Year!

Forrest Bishop (
Fri, 02 Jan 1998 22:08:46 -0800

Anders Sandberg wrote:


> (Forrest Bishop) writes:


> > I've played around with a animated planner,


> This sounds like great fun! What program was it?

See other thread.

> > >What I would like is a molecular film that acts as a cellular

> > >automaton. Maybe we could use the microtubule units?

> >

> > What for?


> Fun. Aesthethics. I like CAs :-)

So do I, but what I have in mind are the aesthetics of providing useful

products and making lotsa dough in the process.

> > How small a unit cell? How many (how few, actually)?

> > Is there a market for this that cannot be filled with projected

> > Si 'von Neumann' chips?


> It would likely be significantly faster and denser than the chips. And

> if we could tune the transition rules, then we could get lattice gas

> dynamics with a wonderful resolution,

It would still be a 2D gas model, with a limited market. The size and


of cells to produce a useful device is the question. Would the amount of


needed to implement a gate, for instance, be less than the area of a


hardware gate. Could it run as fast? Bear in mind this kind of gate is

approaching the molecular scale- a couple papers on this at the 5th



> or make universal computations

> for real. Or just run the greatest Game of Life ever.


> > What good is a microtubule? It has to be in water, no?


> I think so. Normally the units form a cylinder, with a helical tiling

> of the subunits (and some interesting stability properties; they are

> dynamical structures, constantly being formed and dissolved at the

> ends). The fun thing is that it is possible that the units flip

> around, acting as a cellular automaton which can have all sorts of

> dynamics.

Really? Maybe there is some biochemical analog of the rule table?

> > Any other ideas for thin-film, nearly nanotech products?


> What about using reaction-diffusion dynamics to create complex local

> strucures? That might be useful to maximizing catalytic efficiency,

> adapting to changes in the environment or changing color.

Hmmm, maybe a chemically-powered display for laptops, clothes, etc.

This might be much more efficient than electrically powered (battery).

It would need transport provisions for reactants and products- the

distributor might resemble a circulatory system, and might have some

self-repairing capabilies.

Maybe refresh rates could be governed by reaction-diffusion chemical

clocks (a temperature-dependence problem here).

Biolumenescent reactions would be neat for lighting or backlighting,

they are quite efficient, I understand.


Forrest Bishop
Institute of Atomic-Scale Engineering