Ralph Merkle: Quantum Frontiers Distinguished Lecture Series: Molecular nanotechnology and molecular computing

Friday, June 24, 2011 2:30 pm - 3:30 pm EDT (GMT -04:00)

Ralph Merkle, Institute for Molecular Manufacturing and Singularity University


Molecular nanotechnology, the ability to economically manufacture most arrangements of atoms permitted by physical law, is going to fundamentally alter our manufacturing technology. It will let us make remarkably light and strong materials, nanorobotic medical devices able to heal and cure even the gravest of injuries, and perhaps most obviously molecular computers orders of magnitude more powerful than any that exist today. Using mechanosynthesis to perform site-specific chemical reactions in UHV to synthesize atomically precise variants of diamond, fullerenes, and other materials molecular nanotechnology will let us build and interconnect mole quantities of molecular logic gates in the complex patterns required by modern computer architectures. Given such capabilities, molecular nanotechnology poses the question (in many fields): if you could arrange the atoms exactly as you wanted, how would you arrange them? What arrangements of atoms are best suited to the task of computing? The natural question posed by this capability to the Institute for Quantum Computing is: what arrangements of atoms are best suited to the task of quantum computing?

Small reception will follow in the EIT foyer.