Announcements and Events
Preparing for nanotechnology
Startup Founded to Develop First Assembler
During the 1997 Senior Associates
Gathering, Senior Associate Jim
Von Ehr announced the formation of Zyvex,
the first molecular nanotechnology development company, which has the mission
to develop the first assembler. Jim further announced that he is now
Design for a fine motion controller for molecular assembly
The Institute for Molecular Manufacturing presents a design
for fine motion controller for molecular assembly developed by Dr. K.
Nanotechnologist Wins Nobel Prize in Chemistry
Prof. Richard E. Smalley, Director of the Center for Nanoscale Science and
Technology at Rice University, shared the 1996 Nobel Prize in Chemistry
with his collaborators Robert F. Curl and Harold W. Kroto for their 1985
discovery of fullerenes, a hitherto unknown crystalline form of carbon.
More details. See also the lead
story in Update 27.
Foresight Institute News
Ka-Ping Yee demonstrates his Crit
Mediator software to Eric Drexler and to hypertext pioneer Doug Engelbart
Newsletter current issue
The current issue of our newsletter is Foresight
Update 30 September, 1997.
To recognize the most promising student in the rapidly developing field
- Foresight announces an effort to
develop an interactive 3D graphics tour of the molecular-scale world.
Reviewer needed for molecular modeling software
MacWeek has recently reviewed
(favorably) a new molecular design software product for the Mac, MacSPARTAN.
If anyone owns a copy of this product and is interested in reviewing it
from the viewpoint of a molecular nanotechnologist, please contact Foresight
Update Editor Lew Phelps at: Lew@PhelpsConsulting.com.
Foresight Recent Events
Find out more about the Senior Associates
Program and how to join.
Foresight's new "State of the Field" Report on Molecular Nanotechnology,
which will review events and developments of 1996, is now in preparation.
Merkle shares Kanellakis
Award for public-key cryptography
Foresight Director Dr. Ralph Merkle will share the Association for Computing's
(ACM) Paris Kanellakis Theory and Practice Award with the other five founders
of public-key cryptography. For more details on the award, see: http://www.acm.org/announcements/pr/pkaward.html
Cryptography is the field Dr. Merkle worked in prior to entering computational
nanotechnology, where he continues to do ground-breaking work as he did
The 1996 Gathering of Senior Associates has occurred.
A gathering for Senior Associates
of the Foresight family of organizations was held from October 18-20, 1996.
Updates were presented by Eric Drexler, Ralph Merkle, and other key players
in nanotechnology on where nanotechnology stands 10 years after the publication
of Engines of Creation. To
share in what happened at the Gathering, see the report
in Update 27.
Become a Senior Associate and be prepared
for the 1997 gathering!
Foresight Ten-Year Anniversary
1996 is the ten-year anniversary of the publication of Engines
of Creation and of the founding of the Foresight Institute. A
celebration was held in Palo Alto on October 19, 1996.
Nanotechnology Center opens in
The University of Toronto and Energenius Inc. announced the opening of the
Energenius Centre for
"ECAN is a newly formed centre dedicated to advancing research
and training students in the area of semiconductor nanotechnology for future
device development. The centre brings together workers in the disiplines
of material science, physics, and electrical engineering. Currently the
centre is working on joint projects with the National
Research Council of Canada, the Cornell
Nanofabrication Centre, and the University
of North Carolina at Chapel Hill's Nanomanipulator Project."
They can be contacted by telephone at (416) 978-3012 or write to: Energenius
Centre for Advanced Nanotechnology, c/o Department of Metallurgy and Materials
Science, Wallberg Building, University of Toronto, 184 College St., Toronto,
Ontario M5S 3E4. WWW: http://www.utoronto.ca/~ecan/index.html
American Vacuum Society Annual Meeting, Oct 20-24, San
Jose, CA. Includes nanoscale science & technology. tel 212-248-0200,
fax 212-248-0245, email email@example.com, http://www.vacuum.org.
Fifth Foresight Conference on Molecular Nanotechnology,
Nov. 5-8, Palo Alto, CA. Enabling science and technology, computational
models. Contact Foresight, tel 415-917-1122, fax 415-917-1123,
email firstname.lastname@example.org, http://www.foresight.org/Conferences/MNT05/Nano5.html
7th Int'l Symposium on Molecular Electronics and Biocomputing,
Nov. 10-12, Nanjing, PR China. tel +86-25-361-9983, fax +86-25-771-2719,
email email@example.com, http://www.lmbe.seu.edu.cn/welcome.html
SC97: High Performance Networking and
Computing, Nov. 15-21, 1997, San Jose. Includes Deepak Srivastava
on molecular dynamics simulation of large-scale carbon nanotubes, David
Brin on "Pflops, Box Office Hits, and the Human SingularityWill
we Remain Human Long Enough to Collect Social Security?" tel 510-294-2629,
fax 510-294-3422, email firstname.lastname@example.org, http://www.supercomp.org/sc97
IBC's 2nd Annual International Conference
on Biological Approaches and Novel Applications for Molecular Nanotechnology,
December 8-9, with a pre-conference mini-symposium on Dec. 8 on Micromachining
Technologies for Bioscience Applications, La Jolla, CA. Includes
controlled incorporation of biomolecules in nanodevices, biosynthetic devices,
sensor applications, biochemical separations, novel strategies for self-assembly
of nanodevices, use of nanostructures in therapeutics. Tel: (508) 481-6400,
Fax: (508) 481-7911, E-mail: email@example.com, http://www.ibcusa.com/conf/nano/
Molecular Electronics: Science and Technology,
Dec. 14-18, Puerto Rico. Molecular wires, switches, devices; self-assembly;
SPM manipulation. Engineering Foundation, tel 212-705-7836, fax 212-705-7441,
email firstname.lastname@example.org, http://www.engfnd.org
Device Applications of Nanoscale Materials Symposium, March 29-April 3, 1998, Dallas, Texas, at the 1998 National Meeting of the American Chemical Society. "The two main purposes of this symposium are (1) to demonstrate current, innovative applications of chemistry in the nanometer size regime for use in device electronics and optoelectronics and (2) to identify potential areas for partnerships between industry and academia where research in nanoscale chemistry can be applied to emerging technologies." Invited speakers who are also speaking at the November, 1997 Foresight Conference include James R. Von Ehr II, James M. Tour, and Jie Han. For more information or abstract form, contact Dr. Sean C. O'Brien, c/o John St. John, Box 298860 TCU Chemistry Department, Fort Worth, Texas 76129, tel (817) 921-7195, email email@example.com
4th Int'l Conference on Nanostructured Materials, June
14-18, 1998, Stockholm. http://www.kth.se/conferences/nano98/
Superlattices, Microstructures, and Microdevices, July
27-Aug 1, 1998, Egypt. Includes nanostructures, nanotubes, self-assembly.
Contact Khalid Ismail, IBM Watson, Rt 134, Yorktown Hts, NY 10598.
Fifth Int'l Conference on Nanometer-scale Science and Technology,
Aug 31-Sept 4, 1998, Birmingham, UK. Contact Institute of Physics, tel +44-171
470 4800, fax +44-171-470-4900, email firstname.lastname@example.org, http://www.vacuum.org/iuvsta/
2nd Intl. Conference on Evolvable Systems: From Biology to Hardware,
Sept. 24-26, 1998. Lausanne, Switzerland. Self-replicating hardware, self-repairing
hardware, applications of nanotechnology. Email Moshe.Sipper@di.epfl.ch,
Sixth Foresight Conference on Molecular Nanotechnology,
Nov. 12-15, 1998, Santa Clara, CA. Enabling science and technology, computational
models. See Foresight contact info above.
First ELBA-Foresight Conference on Molecular Nanotechnology,
spring 1999, Rome. Contact EL.B.A. Foundation, tel +39-6-35420728, fax +39-6-35451637,
1997 Albany Conference On Biomolecular
Motors And Nanomachines was held September 4-7, 1997, in Rensselaerville,
New York. Complete text of the CALL FOR PARTICIPATION;
see Conference Home Page
for further information.
Extropy conference highlighted
nanotechnology and AI issues
Quite a few Foresight members and Senior Associates will be speaking at
the upcoming EXTRO 3 meeting at the Doubletree Hotel in San Jose this August
9-10. Full details are at: http://www.extropy.com/~exi/ex3/extro3.htm
or can be requested from
Max More, Ph.D.
Listed below are a few of the speakers whose names may be familiar to Foresight
President, Extropy Institute: email@example.com, http://www.extropy.org
| SATURDAY || 8:30pm (approx.):
|| Keynote Speaker |
K. Eric Drexler
|| 8:45-9:55am: ||Computer Security as the Future
of Law |
11:30am-12:50pm: ||AI Onset Panel |
Marvin Minsky, Chair
||Investing in the Future Panel |
||Radical High-Tech Environmentalists |
We hope to see you there.
Chris Peterson, Executive Director,
Nobel Laureate to address
National Science Foundation on
Dr. Heinrich Rohrer, who together with Gerd Binnig was awarded the 1986
Nobel prize for physics for the invention of the scanning tunneling
microscope, will address the National Science Foundation in Arlington, VA
on June 16, 1997. The event is open to the public, and the National Science
Foundation has posted on the Web more
information and directions for visitors. Rohrer is to discuss how advances
in current miniaturization technology and in assembling objects from molecular
building blocks will together lead to building complex objects molecule
by molecule. Rohrer's talk is part of NSF's "Distinguished Lecture
"The Nanometer Age, Challenges and Choices"
Workshop on hi-tech
INTERNATIONAL WORKSHOP ON NEW APPROACHES TO HI-TECH MATERIALS
Nondestructive Testing and Computer Simulations in Materials Science and
9 - 12 June 1997
Complete text of Announcement
Micromachining talks at Stanford
A series of talks on "Nanotechnologies and Micromachining in Japan
and The U.S." will be given every Thursday, 4/3 through 5/29, at 4:15
- 5:30 pm, at Stanford University Terman Auditorium. These talks are open
to the public and free of charge. For more information, see: http://fuji.stanford.edu:80/COURSES/SPRING97/table.html.
The Web site for these talks includes a page
of nanotechnology links that is especially strong on nanotechnology
Merkle speaks at RAND
Critical Technologies seminar on nanotechnology
The Critical Technologies Institute at RAND has organized a series of five
seminars that "will explore technologies emerging on the horizon of
development... The five areas of science that will be explored are electronics
(quantum computing), manufacturing (nanotechnology), space (solar- powered
space based satellites), energy (antimatter), and biotechnology (biosensors)."
Information is available on their Web page: http://www.rand.org/centers/cti/events/ctiseminar.html
Foresight Director Dr. Ralph Merkle
will speak at the seminar "Nanotechnology Applications in a Space-Based
Environment," scheduled for Tuesday, March 25, 1997 (but please call
In describing the seminar, CTI
notes that "Since the 1993 CTI seminar on nanotechnology, the field
has developed quickly enough to warrant a second look at this technology.
The field has gone from a "what if" to a "how" mode
Drexler speaks at American
Society for Quality Control conference
K. Eric Drexler, Ph.D., Research Fellow
of the Institute for Molecular Manufacturing,
spoke at the American Society for Quality Control conference in Los Angeles,
held February 27-28, 1997.
Event: American Society for Quality Control,
Quality Audit Division conference
Dates: February 27-28, 1997
Location: Westin Hotel at Los Angeles Airport
Keynote Speaker: Richard Brodie, author, Virus of
the Mind: The New Science of the Meme. "Becoming a Vector for
the Quality Virus"
Richard Brodie RBrodie@brodietech.com +1.206.688.8600
Luncheon Speaker: K. Eric Drexler, author, Nanosystems:
Molecular Machines, Manufacturing, and Computation. "Quality
Auditing for 21st Century Products: the Goal of Atom-by-Atom Precision"
CEO, Brodie Technology Group, Inc., Bellevue, WA, USA http://www.brodietech.com/rbrodie
Do you know what a "meme" is? http://www.brodietech.com/rbrodie/meme.htm
Over the next few decades, manufacturing will undergo a profound
change. Advances in miniaturization will bottom out at the level of individual
atoms -- more and more, products will be designed and built to atomically-precise
Cost: $425 before 2/8, $495 thereafter
We can see the early signs of this today in many fields. Pharmaceutical
companies routinely design and build drug molecules. Companies such as DuPont
design and build proteins for their products. Academic researchers are building
small three-dimensional objects of DNA. And atomically-precise probe instruments
-- such as the scanning tunneling microscope -- are being used by IBM and
Japanese companies to position and even bond single molecules, with the
goal of making atomically-precise computer chips.
This will change what we mean by "quality." Today's products have
billions of atoms in non-optimal locations, and defects which are huge when
considered at the molecular scale. The coming implementation of molecular
manufacturing -- also known as nanotechnology -- can redefine quality to
include requiring a product to have virtually all its atoms in a specific,
What will this mean for quality auditing? This change represents a tremendous
raising of standards in manufacturing. As in some industries today, quality
audits will evaluate processes at scales invisible to the naked eye, eliminating
visual inspection as a useful tool. Instead, quality auditors will need
to understand and evaluate the molecular manufacturing process itself, which
is based on a combination of chemistry, mechanical engineering, and software.
To do this effectively, quality auditors will need to become familiar with
the technical basics of these new processes -- to think in a three-dimensional
way about processes at the atomic level.
I look forward to discussing these issues with you at the February QAD meeting.
To register, call 1-800-248-1946
AAAS Annual Meeting & Science Innovation Exposition
Feb. 13-18, Seattle, Washington. Includes computational chemistry, quantum
computation. Tel 202-326-6450, fax 202-289-4021, email firstname.lastname@example.org,
International Business Communications held a molecular
IBC hosted a conference similar in focus to the Foresight conferences: Biological
Approaches and Novel Applications for Molecular Nanotechnology, held Dec.
9-11, 1996, in San Diego. Read the report
in Update 27.
Nanotechnology in the news
awards recognize nanotechnology researchers
on Scientific American Web site hails progress in computational
nanotechnology: molecular dynamics simulations of fullerene gears. See 1997
epilogue to debate with Scientific American on nanotechnology.
Drexler named to Newsweek's
"The Century Club"
Article on nanotechnology
published by MIT Technology Review
What people are saying about
Foresight and its tenth anniversary
For more news about nanotechnology, explore our new
What's Being Said... section.
The Feynman Grand Prize is announced
Feynman Grand Prize has been offered for major advances toward molecular
nanotechnology. See also the article
in Foresight Update 24. A smaller prize, the biennial Feynman
Conference Prize in Nanotechnology, is awarded to the researcher whose
recent work has most advanced the development of molecular nanotechnology.
The Feynman Conference award for 1995 is reported in an article
in Foresight Update 23. At the 1997 Foresight Conference
on Molecular Nanotechnology, two Feynman
Conference Prizes will be awarded.
Debate with Scientific American
During 1996 a debate about nanotechnology
was conducted between Foresight Institute and Scientific American
magazine. This debate is noteworthy for how the World Wide Web made possible
a detailed response to a published article. The
overview of this debate on nanotechnology provides a summary of the
debate and links to the individual documents. For the most recent result,
see SciAm correction.
See also the article
in Foresight Update 24 and the article
in Foresight Update 25.
A Historical perspective on predicting new technologies
A Congressional Research Report recently converted to HTML provides an amusing
collection of erroneous predictions
about science and technology. Reading these gives a bit of perspective on
the current debate about the feasibility of nanotechnology.
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