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Название: Soft Machines: Nanotechnology and Life
Автор: Jones R.
Before reading this book I was familiar with the conjecture that MNT (molecular nano-technology)devices will tend to be more like nonascale biological components than macroscale machines and suspected there was some truth to it. This book tends to confirm that hypothesis but gives so much more and in such readable detail.
An advantage is that the author, Jones, is not a biologist but a physist, and his approack deals with the physical phenomina of brownian motion (shaking by thermally excited molicules), surface effects like van der Walls forces and viscosity, and the ways these forces can be taken advantage of rather than fought by unconventional machine components like shape changing molicules for valves and isothermal motors at this scale.
Jones and colleagues are themselves involved with development of nanoscale motors using these techniques and the book also covers the equally weird information processing and transduction devices which are likely to be most useful at this size range, again emphysizing similarities to biocomponents but by no means suggesting that we limit ourselves to slavishly using or copying them.
Later in the book he does get into the physical limitations of the dimonoid assemblers and such originally proposed by Eric Drexler, but this book is by no means simply a put down of another researcher's ideas or cat fight between them.
As a view of what short and medium term MNT is likely to be like I can not think of a better source. While this text uses little mathematics it does manage to rigorously lay out the underlying physical laws that will limit some types of construction at this size range but also provide some new and almost magic seeming possibilities.
Over-all I would say this book contains les "hype" about nanotechnology than any I have come across, presenting facts instead.