Technology

Reason.tv: Zyvex CEO Jim Von Ehr On "What's New With Nanotech"

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"If we take the carbon atoms in this lump of coal, they're not worth very much because they are random and unstructured. But if we were to take those same atoms and rearrange them into a crystal, they're diamond," explains Zyvex CEO Jim Von Ehr.

The nanotech pioneer has committed his life to restructuring at the molecular level, and at Reason Weekend 2012, Reason Foundation's annual donor event, Von Ehr discussed his progress. He spoke about the future of nanotechnology in an array of industries, from medicine to transportation, as well as his obstacles concerning government regulation over his products and how he plans to overcome them.

About 33 minutes. Filmed by Joshua Swain and Anthony Fisher. Edited by Tracy Oppenheimer.

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  1. as well as his obstacles concerning government regulation over his products and how he plans to overcome them

    With nanobots, duh.

    1. …of your life by the elite few, including the owners-of-this-country’s middle management in Washington, D.C.

  2. “If we take the carbon atoms in this lump of coal, they’re not worth very much because they are random and unstructured. But if we were to take those same atoms and rearrange them into a crystal, they’re diamond,”

    Which is still not worth very much despite what De Beers has led us all to believe.

    1. Debeers shitty, irregular, disorganized, and overmarketed stones are not what he’s referring to.

      Now, the super awesome diamond CPU heatsink you’ll have in a few years, now THAT’s valuable.

    2. Is anyone except me creeped out by diamonds in general, particularly how they apply to marriage? What sequence of events transpired that ended with men having to buy a ridiculously expensive useless trinket for women when they want to propose? They are quite nice looking, but so are CZs and moissenites. You can’t tell the difference unless you use one of those special magnifiers. Why not just use some simple 24k bands?

      1. I don’t know about other so-called “men”, but I certainly won’t feel obligated to do such if I choose to marry.

      2. I think blue sapphires and platinum are much nicer.

  3. I met Eric Drexler at a conference in the 90s. He said I’d be a god by now, thanks to nanotechnology. Disappointed!

    1. AND WHERES MY FLYINGCAR/JETPACK!!11oneoneone

      1. Right. No century has ever been as disappointing as the 21st:

        * No real space station.
        * No A.I.
        * No cool nanotech.
        * No Moon/Mars colony.
        * No flying cars.
        * No immortality.
        * No nuclear wasteland.
        * No space tourism.
        * No personal robot servants, and no, Roomba doesn’t count.
        * No jetpacks.
        * No fusion.
        * And so on.

        1. no cool nanotech? I don’t have a good example offhand.

          And space tourism is pretty close.

          And the nuclear wasteland can’t be more than 2-3 years away. Certainly before the end of obama’s next term.

          1. Over a decade into the century and all you can give me are promises of “Soon!”? Ha!

        2. I think the lack of hoverboards is by far the biggest crime of all!

        3. And no zombies. Yet.

    2. Eric Drexler had big ideas but not big knowledge.

      Read this:

      http://pubs.acs.org/cen/covers…..point.html

      1. Molecular assemblers could exist… essentially, Smalley just tries to claim that they couldn’t because some kids that he talks to are scared.

  4. If you take the carbon atoms in Drexler’s book or a lump of coal, and arrange them at the rate of 10 billion per second, you should be getting back to us about your diamond in about ten million years.

    Alternatively, you could buy a non-nanotech disk of the stuff the size of a CVD off the shelf right now.

    1. CVD is a macro technology. It is better at making macro things like carat+ diamonds and silicon wafers. It makes no sense to use nanotechnology to make macro scale diamonds. It makes a lot of sense to make diamonds on a scale similar to today’s transistors, and you do that with nanotechnology.

  5. I think proteins will make an ideal nanotechnology material, as they already exist, we know how to make them (recombinant DNA), and can do really nifty nano-scale stuff.

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