Re: Femtotech

From: Anders Sandberg (
Date: Tue Oct 17 2000 - 02:05:58 MDT

"Eliezer S. Yudkowsky" <> writes:

> Has anyone ever run any numbers on nucleonic femtotechnology? Or is
> "femtotech" just a neat little word?

I think so far it is just a neat word - we are using it quite a bit in
our Orion's arm sf setting. I have seen a few ideas thrown around
about doing fun stuff with mesons, and I have myself spent some time
trying to figure out if quark matter might be useful for
something. But I have not seen any convincing models demonstrating
anything as versatile as nanotech.

> I know I can't expect a
> _Femtosystems_ - I just want to know whether there's any physical
> basis whatsoever for believing that mechanical structures can be
> built from nucleons or other non-atomic particles, capable of
> precision positioning on the order of a nucleon radius and applying
> energies on the scale of nuclear binding forces

I guess the problem here is that instead of thermal noise, we have to
deal with quantum uncertainty. A femtotech device would be quite fuzzy
rather than a shaking tinkertoy like a nanotech device. This seems to
imply that we need to coordinate particles using strong forces to keep
them in "place". Most likely a femtotechnology book would have to go
through quantum mechanical calculations for the structures, they are
definitely not going to be nicely classical.

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

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