from the Looking-for-roadmaps dept.
larens imanyuel writes "In each phase of the Industrial Revolution a new industrial system has arisen on top of the previous one. Each has involved enabling technology, new organizational principles, and new major product lines. For instance, a century ago electrification with small motors allowed Henry Ford to design the modern assembly line to mass produce automobiles. Several decades ago silicon technology allowed the mass production of personal computers through an exponential refinement of technique, commonly known as Moore's law, that became the Semiconductor Roadmap. The question naturally arises as what the equivalent industrial system will be for the next half century."
"I have come up with my own analysis, and am interested in hearing how readers find that it compares with other people's insights. My first observation is that all the leaders of nanotechnology initiatives see that development is going to be highly multidisciplinary and that finding a principle of unity is a major necessary step to produce some type of "roadmap". Mathematics is the obvious common element of the multiple disciplines. A unifying principle this time, however, must be more involved than Moore's law, because we are dealing with a more complex technology than photolithography."
"Economically the driving principle is that making highly automated equipment leads to miniaturization, because smaller machines operate at higher frequencies, particularly when using "dry" technology. This implies that with embedded controllers, power sources, and wireless technology, we are going to see a system of miniature robotization. This will be multiscale all the way from human handlable scale down to molecular manufacturing. To shepherd these will require highly manouverable one person vehicles with a computer-human interface and power for tools. This will be the new transportation mode comparable to the railroad and automobile in previous epochs. In conjunction with accessories and high speed ferrying systems, such as vacuum maglev and airfoil airships, these "robohorses" will define the new major comsumer products of the technology."
"In this light the unifying mathematical principles will define two things:
1) Multiscale 3D design.
2) The computer-human interface and its 'virtual world'."
"I have some specific mathematics, which is too long for this posting, and want to work with other people on refining it."