Re: Setting the controls for the sun

Dan Clemmensen (
Sun, 17 Aug 1997 09:34:42 -0400

> What is picotechnology?

I infer from Ander's post that "picotechnology" is "control
of matter to subatomic precision.", by analogy with
nanotechnology: control of matter to atomic precision.

The etymology is a bit strange: "micro-technology"
relates to very small machines. The word "nanotechnology"
is almost a pun. The prefix "micro" has a non-scientific
meaning of "tiny", but it also has a specific ISO-standard
meaning of 10E-6, or "one millionth". "Nano" means 10E-9,
or "one part in a thousand million", and "pico" means 10E-12,
or "one part in a million million." So, Anders is extending the
pun: if nanotechnology is "tinier than microtechnology", then
picotechnology is "tinier than nanotechnology".

My post was assuming an ability to do mechanicla engineering
of neutronium, which is (or may be) atoms with their electrons
crushed nearly into the nucleus by ambient pressure with
roughly a thousand-fold reduction in size. Anders is not
sure this will work, but has hopes for operating at the
quark level which would result in an additional thousand-fold
reduction, but which IMO would require discovery of new
physical laws.