October 21, 2003 7:17 PM   Subscribe

Here's a little more nano for your Tuesday: carbon nanotubes. Currently in the r&d phase, this article promises that they could become hot stuff and technologically indispensible...

"They are stronger than steel and as flexible as plastic, conduct energy better than almost any material ever discovered and can be made from unexotic raw materials such as methane gas." [found on blogdex]
posted by moonbird (8 comments total)
heh - yeah, I've been hearing about these for years. A friend of mine has a jar of them. Little black plastic fibers that are going to change my life... any day now...

not that there's nothing to nano, but what exactly is there to it that I've heard of?
posted by scarabic at 7:23 PM on October 21, 2003

employee of the month: the inanimate carbon nanotube.
posted by quonsar at 7:30 PM on October 21, 2003

posted by anathema at 7:33 PM on October 21, 2003

posted by angry modem at 8:19 PM on October 21, 2003

"Carbon nanotubes are composed of carbon atoms arranged in hexagons..."

Oh great. Designer atoms.
posted by ZachsMind at 8:21 PM on October 21, 2003

My fiance's ex-roommate (and buddy of ours) was working on these at Penn and is working on them now in grad school at Harvard. One major application of them is to turn them into something like a roll of tape, and use that to wrap the bodies of missles in, since it's very strong and very light and conducts electricity well.

Ironically, the friend in question is a liberal pacifist.
posted by Asparagirl at 8:42 PM on October 21, 2003

As long as these are the next step of getting me into the holodeck with Seven of Nine, I'm down with 'em.
posted by starscream at 9:00 PM on October 21, 2003

Well, if you're a regular slashdot reader you'll see about 1 story every 2 weeks about them. They're a really cool idea, but the reality is that nobody has made a reliable manufacturing process for them. Also, nobody has really been able to create them in such a way that they live up to their theoretical properties. Right now, they're sort of in the place that solar cells were in the 70's. Back then all the scientists were saying: "well it's just a matter of time before we make these cheap and efficient enough that one pool-size bank could power a whole neighborhood" Well, they have recently made a breakthrough with solar cells, but it's like 30 years later, and it's still not going to kick the fossil-fuel habit anytime soon.

Carbon nanotubes are cool as the dickens, but still pie in the sky.
posted by lumpenprole at 7:09 AM on October 22, 2003

« Older Con-man, the next Einstein, or...?   |   Late Night Music Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments