The Physical Basis of Atomically Precise Manufacturing

by Eric Drexler on June 12, 2009

The section below, adapted from a longer work, discusses the physical basis for understanding atomically precise fabrication systems: first, a very general class of systems, and second, the specific characteristics of high-throughput systems of a kind several technology levels above where we are today. (In my previous post, “A Telescope Aimed at the Future” I said a bit about science, modeling, and as-yet-unimplemented technologies.)

Regarding next-stage objectives for laboratory research and the trajectory of technology development, I’ve previously discussed:

Current understanding of potential systems for atomically precise manufacturing (APM) is based on long-established science, not on speculations regarding new or poorly understood physical phenomena. Molecular machinery in biological cells demonstrates the fundamental physical principles and operations that enable APM.

(ed: an outline follows in the document -- please follow the link)


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