Molecular Nanotechnology – Rethinking Chemistry, Computation and Interstellar Flight
S. Santoli (1999), JBIS, 52, 336-342
The thermodynamics of molecular robots working in a vacuum, a gas or a liquid to guide and force chemical reactions is explored as an aspect of Molecular Nanotechnology in which such emerging branch of knowledge clearly shows to be a turning point in chemical thought. Nanoscale manufacturing is shown to be no different physically from nanoscale computation, and it is envisaged that the development of molecular nanotechnology, mainly as to building micromechanical – to – nanomechanical/nanoelectronic integrated systems , will result in a new concept of mechanical engineering. The present rapid advances in the so-called “enabling technologies” , i.e. those which will lead to the ultimate goals of Molecular Nanotechnology, already can be applied to space sciences. The near- and medium-term applications to space missions of results already available from nanosciences and from the “enabling technologies” are discussed. The ultimate goals of Molecular Nanotechnology will lead to a reconceptualization of interstellar flight missions.