2. Carbon Nano-tubes Activity:
An accurate model of a carbon nanotube can be created by rolling up chicken wire in various directions.
Your challenge: You are a graduate student at UC Berkeley. Your research group is working to come up with ideas for using nanotubes. In order to get funding for your idea, it has to be both useful and necessary. As a group, come up with an idea for a nanotechnological device that uses the nanotube. Keep in mind the scale that you are working at! You will draw and/or build a model of this device. To begin, cut and roll the chicken wire into a simple tube. Tape and pinch the sides together. We will listen to all the ideas and “fund” the best idea.
3. Nanotechnology Debate:
Clearly, the types of weapons described above will make warfare far more dangerous than it has ever been before. But the weapons themselves, though frightening, should not be our primary concern. Our primary concern should be the targets of these new weapons, because an advanced manufacturing capability based on nanotechnology will eliminate two of the traditional targets of military action, factories and weapons, leaving only one target: people.
The base of offensive military power today is manufacturing ability. It depends on the capacity of a state to produce the tools of war, to produce them in large quantity, and to produce them quickly and continuously in the case of protracted fighting. During the Second World War, it was the factories and workers of the United States that turned the tide against Germany and Japan in the end, not just the brave Allied soldiers. (Note that this is not necessarily the case with defensive power. This power is often derived from other sources, such as geography, as is the case with the U.S. and Switzerland.4) Manufacturing ability is embodied in factories, mines, and transportation infrastructures. These all make for large, obvious and inviting targets in time of war, as was demonstrated by the Allied bombing campaign against German factories and bridges in the Second World War. And although thankfully never implemented, the strategic plans of the American and Soviet nuclear forces considered production centers to be valid and attractive targets for annihilation.
MNT will miniaturize not only many products, but most production facilities as well. Ugly grey buildings with tall, smoke-belching chimneys will become a thing of the past. So, too, will easy targets for strategic planners. Beyond this, even if the factories can be found, destroying them will be of little avail; with cheap and fast molecular manufacturing, factories will sprout like weeds. Raze a factory one day, it will grow back again soon after. Targeting production capability hardly seems a formula for success in nanotech-based warfare.
The other target of choice, one that is more tactical in nature, is the enemy's weapons. Destroy his planes, his tanks, his carriers and his bombers, annihilate his military forces and the war is won. But if the superweapons of the nano-age are invisible, then just like invisible factories, they may present no target at which to strike.5 And like molecular factories, they can be replaced quickly and cheaply if they are destroyed.
Military planners will seek a target that is large enough to find and hit, and that cannot be easily replaced. The natural choice, given the circumstances, will be civilian populations. Targeting civilian populations is not a general characteristic of modern, Western warfare (although there have been instances). Returning again to the example of World War II, we find that when it has occured, as in the German bombings of London, it was usually a choice made in desperation. So, too, will the future targeting of civilians be a choice of desperation, made by planners desperate for something they can find and destroy.
War in the "age of invisible machines," as we can see above, will be far more terrible than at any time in the past. Unfortunately, as these invisible machines make war more terrifying, they also make it more likely. (This point will be explained below in The State of Nature.)
California Governor Gray Davis announced on 7 December 2000 the selection of the California NanoSystems Institute — a wide-ranging research enterprise poised to make a major impact in areas ranging from information technology to medical treatment — as one of the three research efforts statewide to receive $100 million in state support to help propel the future of the state's economy.
The institutions created by the program are intended to increase the competitiveness of the state's economy by focusing on technology challenges in many fields. The program will foster joint ventures between the campuses of the University of California system, as well as partners from private industry. Gov. Davis announced the selection of the three scientific proposals to chancellors at San Francisco, Los Angeles and San Diego systems by satellite. "Sometimes my critics have accused me of not thinking big," Davis said. "I think today, at least, I've answered the call."
California's CISI program will create a new R&D juggernaut with partners in academia, private industry and government that dwarfs all similar efforts in other parts of the country. The entire CISI program will be underwritten by $300 million in state funds over four years. Gov. Davis has committed to provide $25 million per year in support to each of the three institutes, with each institute committed to raising $2 from other sources for every $1 received from the state. University of California President Richard Atkinson has asked more than 200 companies to participate in the program by contributing money or resources to the institutes.
Given the strong level of support already shown, the CISI programs are likely to bring over $1 billion to the combined effort. Indeed, with an estimated funding of about $240 million over four years, the CNSI will be second only to the U.S. National Nanotechnology Initiative in size and scope.
Scientists worldwide are on the brink of a new revolution at the nanoscale, with breakthroughs occurring at the atomic level. CNSI will explore the power and potential of manipulating structures atom-by-atom to engineer new materials, devices and systems that will dramatically change virtually every aspect of our technology, creating new ways to manufacture products, advance information technology, transform the practice of medicine, and provide innovations for the environment. Expected to be a leader in this race, the California nanosystems effort has already attracted nearly 30 corporate partners.
"The California NanoSystems Institute will bring the research communities of UCLA and UC Santa Barbara together with business.
Most of the state tax dollars pledged to the CISI institutions will be used to construct campus buildings and laboratories and get them started, so much of the operating money will need to come from partnerships with private industry. According to a UCLA press release, CNSI already has agreements with nearly 30 companies that have pledged nearly $50 million in support for the enterprise, ranging from information technology giants like Hewlett-Packard and Sun Microsystems to smaller, specialized biotechnology firms like Sequenom and Ceres.
4. Wrap Up and Recap: