Re: confession of spikeness: massing C14

Robert J. Bradbury (
Sat, 23 Oct 1999 12:39:48 -0700 (PDT)

On Sat, 23 Oct 1999, Spike Jones wrote:

> He*was* lightening up Robert. Jeff and I are friends in
> the material world, offlist. He knows I love jokes and gags
> and that I dont take my dignity very seriously. {8^D

I got a kick out of Jeff's comments as well. My comments were intended as editorial remarks on some of the threads that have/are/will-be accumulating lots of back-and-forth response where the positions seem to be relatively static.

> Re: nanotubes, atomic billiards and oscillation times to weigh 14C

Nice idea. That approach isn't one included in Nanomedicine so I think you get a prize. I think you are going to need something a little more sophisticated to actually "detect" the rate of oscillation. Perhaps you balance the nanotube on a another nanotube and then watch the tube tips back and forth as the atom flys between the ends.

I did discuss at the Foresight conference using nano-mass-spec machines to do atomic separations. It seems like you have a macro-scale machine to set up a huge magnetic field (nano doesn't do magnetism very well), then have a huge number nano-atomic injectors injecting in atoms at precise velocities and charges. They fly down the tube bending slowly and precisely enter the exact "atom bucket" required for their atomic weight. Since you aren't interested in measuring things, like a normal mass-spec machine is, you don't care about the detectors. You simply open up the atom bucket at the end of the day and pour out your isotopically pure material. What the nanotech buys you is the ability to get the required accuracy over the velocity and charge and a repetition rate that allows a high volume of material to be handled.

> If this idea is 800 years old, I still claim to have thought
> it up independently. If it is new, I hereby cast it into the
> public domain, and ask that no one patents the notion. {8^D spike

We need more folks like you Spike.