Soft Machines: Nanotechnology and Life

Paperback | December 5, 2007

byRichard A. L. Jones

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Enthusiasts look forward to a time when tiny machines reassemble matter and process information with unparalleled power and precision. But is their vision realistic? Where is the science heading? As nanotechnology (a new technology that many believe will transform society in the next onehundred years) rises higher in the news agenda and popular consciousness, there is a real need for a book which discusses clearly the science on which this technology will be based. Whilst it is most easy to simply imagine these tiny machines as scaled-down versions of the macroscopic machines weare all familiar with, the way things behave on small scales is quite different to the way they behave on large scales. Engineering on the nanoscale will use very different principles to those we are used to in our everyday lives, and the materials used in nanotehnology will be soft and mutable,rather than hard and unyielding. "Soft Machines" explains in a lively and very accessible manner why the nanoworld is so different to the macro-world which we are all familiar with. Why does nature engineer things in the way it does, and how can we learn to use these unfamiliar principles to create valuable new materials andartefacts which will have a profound effect on medicine, electronics, energy and the environment in the twenty-first century. With a firmer understanding of the likely relationship between nanotechnology and nature itself, we can gain a much clearer notion of what dangers this powerful technologymay potentially pose, as well as come to realise that nanotechnology will have more in common with biology than with conventional engineering.

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Enthusiasts look forward to a time when tiny machines reassemble matter and process information with unparalleled power and precision. But is their vision realistic? Where is the science heading? As nanotechnology (a new technology that many believe will transform society in the next onehundred years) rises higher in the news agenda an...

Prof Richard A.L. Jones FRS Dept of Physics and Astronomy University of Sheffield First degree and PhD in physics from the University of Cambridge. Postdoctoral research at Cornell University Assistant Lecturer, then Lecturer in the Cavendish Laboratory, Cambridge. Professor of Physics at University of Sheffield 1998.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:238 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.47 inPublished:December 5, 2007Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199226628

ISBN - 13:9780199226627

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Table of Contents

1. Fantastic Voyages2. Looking at the Nanoworld3. Nanofabrication4. The Brownian universe: physics at the nanoscale5. Making soft machines6. Machines and mechanisms7. Wetware: chemical computing from bacteria to brains8. Single molecule electronics9. Our nanotechnological futureFurther reading

Editorial Reviews

`Soft Machines is an informative and readable exploration of the nanoworld: length scales, energies, forces, the tools used in the exploration, the importance of Brownian motion and van der Waals (surface) forces, quantum effects and band structures, nanotubes and quantum dots, etc.'Foresight Nanotech Update