Monday, May 23, 2005

Nano World: A new world of weapons


Blogger's Note: UPI's Charles Choi gives us another sneak preview into his latest Nano World column. -- Howard

The next Nano World talks about the potential use of nanotechnology in future weapons of mass destruction. I try to walk the thin line between alarmism and ostrich-headedness to talk about the near-term potential for nanotechnology in enabling new chemical and biological weapons that could prove undetectable under current arms inspection schemes.

Backgrounder
Think globally, act globally
Military Nano Complex
Nano World: Just start me up

4 comments:

Mr. Smith said...

Undetectable, maybe. Unstopable, no. Every weapon or weapon idea has a weakness that can and will be exploited. No matter what the weapon is made of, it still has to obey the laws of physics.

Anonymous said...

Greetings, Mr. Smith -- re: your comments on my story, I couldn't agree more. This is a point I address (via a quote) in the story -- of course the article didn't appear until about 15 minutes ago, so there's no way you could've known that. Nanotechnology could certainly help stop a chemical or biological weapon -- the point the paper I base my story on makes (http://pubs.nanolabweb.com/nlb/vol2/iss1/6/) is that nanotech could help lead to a new generation of weapons that might be too advanced for current arms inspection protocols to spot, and I'm sure you'd agree it's better to detect and hopefully prevent the problem. -- Charles Q. Choi

Anonymous said...

Charles,

Some current weapons seem to be undetectable by current inspectors. Then there are the weapons that they detect that aren't there.

Here's a quote that may be heard in the next three years:

"Nanoweapons? Maybe we should equip the inspectors with magnifing glasses."

Anonymous said...

re: detecting WMDs that may or may not be there for inspectors to find -- yeah, I took the luxury of avoiding that discussion by taking a perspective on WMDs of the future, as opposed to any of the present. -- Charles Q. Choi