|Selected sequences produced for 'Machines Alive', an international TV documentary about nanotechnology, produced by Interworld Productions, LLC (Seattle, Washington).|
|Power of the Gods
Nanotechnology promises us a lot of wonderful things. To all intents and purposes, human powers stand to become equal to those of gods -- we can be as gods. This animation evokes this idea.
Nanotechnology can be dangerous too. Present animation vividly depicts what might happen if nanostructures degenerate in an uncontrollabe fashion. The possible future tragedy chosen is that of a whole city that melts like a wax figure... without explosions or fire.
|Micron Assembles Micron
By means of a protracted metaphor, this long sequence explains the self-replication process of nanoscale mechanic systems. One system - metaphorically represented by a robot named Micron - creates an exact copy of itself from materials (atoms and molecules) in its vicinity. Then both of them each create one more -- now there are four of them. This process goes on until the available resources are all converted into systems. Micron was designed to look like a bio-mechanical robot and is a completely fictional creature.
This sequence (part of a set of three sequences) demonstrates how a scanning probe microscope (SPM) works. This particular SPM uses a so-called nanotube (a.k.a. 'buckytube') for a tip. The three sequences together illustrate some of the basic actions that can be executed at the atomic scale (a.k.a. nanoscale). More complex operations will use these relatively simple ones as building blocks. Of course, present imagery necessarily represents completely fictional views: to date it is (still) impossible to depict actual atoms.
The SPM tip is shown here as it electrically 'glues' an atom to itself, moving it about and releasing it.
A demonstration of the kind of precision that can be achieved in 2D atom manipulation using SPMs.
One of the machines that will be possible using the new-found ability to manipulate single molecules and atoms is illustrated here. This vaguely CD-ROM-like machine assembles other nanomechanical systems by means of 5 degrees-of-freedom tips that pick molecules off the upper platter, rotate down and deposit them on the product arrays of the lower platter.
|Scale of a Water Molecule
This sequence aims to visually explain the comparative size of the molecule of one of the substances we are all most familiar with: water. The idea is quite simple: there are as many water molecules in one glass of water as there are glasses of water in all the oceans of the world.
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