The cover of next week’s issue of Business Week is nanotechnology. For those of you keeping track of magazines as contrarian signals, that officially means that the current enthusiasm for nanotechnology has peaked. I just thought folks might like to know:
The Business Of Nanotech
There’s still plenty of hype, but nanotechnology is finally moving from the lab to the marketplace. Get ready for cars, chips, and golf balls made with new materials engineered down to the level of individual atoms
Pity the poor alchemists. They spent the Middle Ages in candle-lit laboratories, laboring to brew universal elixirs and to turn base metals into gold or silver. They failed utterly. By the dawn of the Scientific Revolution, researchers equipped with microscopes founded modern chemistry — and dismissed alchemy as hocus-pocus.
But it turns out alchemists were just a few centuries ahead of schedule. Today, in sparkling labs equipped with powerful microscopes, scientists on three continents are promising dramatic new materials and medicines that would make alchemists proud. This work takes place in the realm of nanotechnology, industry’s tiniest stage. The standard unit of measurement, a nanometer, is a billionth of a meter — barely the size of 10 hydrogen atoms in a row. In this universe entire dramas can unfold on the tip of a pin, and a sneeze packs the punch of a raging hurricane.