29th July 2003 - Nano-Engineering in Science and Technology

Yesterday I managed to complete another nook, namely "Nano-Engineering in Science and Technology: An Introduction to the World of Nano-Design" by Michael Rieth.

This book is a detailed walk through the challenges related to engineering at nano scale. In general all laws of physics know from traditional engineering are obsolete and replaced by considerations based on laws of nuclear physics and electricity. I did not memorize any of the detailed formulas in the book, but at least now I know where to look should I begin designing components in nano scale ;-)

Reading the book made med realize though the differences in simple mechanical engineering at traditional scale compared to nano scale. It is impossible to have smooth surfaces at nano scale since the building blocks are a limited number of atoms. In traditional engineering a shaft would be moveable in a bearing through the use of a lubricant; at nano scale the atoms of the lubricant itself would have to be considered as part of the design as the tolerance of a nano design would otherwise not be able to fit the lubricant atoms. Temperature will also make a nano design change relatively more than a traditional engineering design. Finally, there is the challenge of keeping a nano object stable and not allow it to merge into other materials which in many cases would have less potential energy than the design, thus be what the laws of nuclear physics would suggest.

All in all, a very interesting book, but it also made me think of the distance we still have to go before we can even consider making nano designs that require software...

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Updated 2003-07-29

 
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