Nanotechnology And Explosives

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by Not_Whistlin_Dixie, Jan 23, 2005.

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  1. "Nanotechnology" is a field of engineering that has to do with manipulating matter at the atomic or molecular level.

    It apparently offers the prospect of increasing the force of chemical explosions by a factor of approximately one thousand. (Imagine a rifle grenade or a mortar bomb with one thousand times the power of its conventional equivalent.)

    The linked article discusses the use of very finely subdivided aluminum (nanoaluminum) as a solid accelerant. Because most of its atoms lie very close to the particle surface, at can oxidize more rapidly than ordinary combustibles.

    The article also says that it may be feasible to use nano-materials to initiate the chain reaction in fissile matter. Thus, it may be feasible to build nuclear bombs no larger than an ordinary briefcase.


    http://technologyreview.com/articles/05/01/wo/wo_gartner012105.asp

    I have read elsewhere that nano-technology may allow the creation of chemical warfare agents capable of permeating, and thus defeating, protective gear.
     
  2. Nanotechnology has belonged in the realms of science fiction for some time, and in recent memory appeared in the film 'Innerspace' starring Dennis Quaid, and Michael Crichton's iffy, but sinister book 'Prey'.

    It seems an interesting and expanding field - I can remember seeing a photograph of a flea sat on a tiny cog in an article in New Scientist; it looked like an elephant on a roundabout at first glance, but the cog could spin at 1000's of revolutions per second, an incredible feat.

    Its not all doom and gloom though, there will undoubtedly be medical and scientific benefits from this field in the future - well, hopefully anyway!

    CH
     
  3. What a cheerful outlook for mankind, we are all doomed.
     
  4. You've heard the one about the Japanese company who said they'd created the
    world's smallest drill bit......

    They sent it on a world tour to show off their technical expertise and when
    it came back from the US, it had a hole drilled through it's shank.
     
  5. Your definition is wrong, NWD (or at least according to the European Patent Office) - Nanotech is any technology which utilises _anything_ on a scale of 10s of nanometres or less. For instance, some modern paints are nanotech, since they use pigment particles of that order of magnitude. And yes, an ammonal-type explosive using finely divided aluminium in the 10nm range would be excellent!