Currently, many scientists are working with nanotechnology, believing that it is the new future of technology. Rocky Angelucci's A Beginner's Guide to Nanotechnology gives readers a view of what nanotechnology really means for the future and the possibilities associated with this new technology. The article specifically focuses on "molecular nanotechnology" a specific branch of nanotechnology that deals with manipulating individual atoms and molecules to eventually build amazingly precise mechanisms.
So what exactly is the hype with being so precise, right down to individual atoms? Angelucci compares modern manufacturing techniques with molecular nanotechnology, emphasizing how - on a molecular level - modern machinery doesn't make pieces that fit well together at all, thus giving way to faster disintegration and costly lubrication. Molecular technology aims to change that by giving us the power to move individual atoms and molecules. Since atoms are the building blocks of everything around us, the acquiring of this technology would open almost limitless opportunities. With the current scanning tunneling microscopy (STM), scientists are already able to push atoms using a fine tip. In the future we can see technology being made so that we are able to move large amounts of atoms at the push of a button. And going further, this technology could be easily used in a factory environment, where millions of mini nano scale assembly devices will allow engineers to create things to a precision not possible with the naked eye and current technology.
This technology will be able to not only build smaller mechanisms that can enter tiny spaces, but it will also allow us to push space efficiency, making it possible to fit complex sequences into a small area, similar to a living cell. (Though reaching that complexity might take us a few years...or more.) Materials will become stronger and generally cheaper and engineering design will take on a fun size; so welcome to nanotechnology.