Supercomputer nanotechnology predicted in ‘Nanopunk’

Once again, the technology in author Nathan Mcgrath’s novel proves to be frighteningly prophetic.

ScienceDaily (Mar. 30, 2012) — Scientists have taken an important step forward in developing a new material using nano-sized magnets that may lead to electronic devices, with greater processing capacity than is currently feasible. Now, researchers from Imperial College London have demonstrated how a honeycomb pattern of nano-sized magnets, in a material known as spin ice can be used to store computable information. The arrays can then be read by measuring their electrical resistance.

In the dystopian novel ‘Nanopunk’, Janus, the supercomputer manipulates honeycomb clusters of ‘data  hives’  as required to analyse incoming data.

The influence of nanotechnology is impacting on manufacturing, agriculture, food, clothing, cosmetics, electronics and communications. It is both the creator of new technologies and the transformer of existing technologies. The convergence of nanotechnology and medical treatments is well documented. Treatments for cancers, prosthetics, reconstructive surgery have all benefited from nanotech. Developments in nanoscale wireless communication now means it is possible to continue to communicate with a drug once it is in the body. Nanotechnology is transforming every field of science from the mechanical and engineering sciences to computing, genetics, biology, neuroscience.

Georgia Institute of Technology recently posted an article entitled “Graphene-Based Nano-Antennas May Enable Networks of Tiny Machines

Networks of nanometer-scale machines offer exciting potential applications in medicine, industry, environmental protection and defense, but until now there’s been one very small problem: the limited capability of nanoscale antennas fabricated from traditional metallic components. With antennas made from conventional materials like copper, communication between low-power nanomachines would be virtually impossible. But by taking advantage of the unique electronic properties of the material known as graphene, researchers now believe they’re on track to connect devices powered by small amounts of scavenged energy.

Graphene antenna schematicSchematic shows how surface plasmon polariton (SPP) waves would be formed on the surface of tiny antennas fabricated from graphene. The antennas would be about one micron long and 10 to 100 nanometers wide. (Courtesy Ian Akyildiz and Josep Jornet)



In the novel ‘Nanopunk’, Alister, a troubled teenager is unaware is uncanny ability to hack any network is due to having absorbed wireless enabled nanoparticles as a child. When a powerful research supercomputer comes on-line, Alister finds himself hunted by MI6, NSA, ruthless mercenaries and cyber-activists.