Anders Sandberg (
14 Apr 1999 09:21:53 +0200

"Ross A. Finlayson" <> writes:

> Well, as soon as it is possible to overcome the strong nuclear and repulsion
> forces to actually modify an atom's atomic weight and its electrons, then any
> matter could be formed into any other matter.

Perhaps. But this technology is far beyond nanotech, and modifying the strong force may not even be possible; we at least know atoms can be moved around, but we have no idea how to change the forces in the nucleus (except banging things into it at a high speed).

> If that is not possible (it is not likely to be possible any time soon), a
> couple of bags of rust would do.

Yes. Most likely a nanotech construction site would look like a pool of stuff from which the building would grow, with trucks pouring in stuff like iron oxide, sugar (for energy) and sand.

> Silicon possesses very similar qualities to carbon in terms of electron
> stability, and it would be likely that, for example, buckyballs and nanotubes
> could be made from silicon, as well as higher level structures like
> diamondoid structural building materials.

Isn't the Si-Si bond weaker than the C-C bond? The silicon fullerenes doesn't have to be stable. I can't recall if silicon even can form something like graphite sheets.

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