Femtotechnology is a hypothetical term used in reference to structuring of matter on the scale of a femtometer, which is 10−15 m. This is a smaller scale in comparison with nanotechnology and picotechnology which refer to 10−9 m and 10−12 m respectively.
Work in the femtometer range involves manipulation of excited energy states within atomic nuclei, specifically nuclear isomers, to produce metastable (or otherwise stabilized) states with unusual properties. In the extreme case, excited states of the individual nucleons that make up the atomic nucleus (protons and neutrons) are considered, ostensibly to tailor the behavioral properties of these particles.
The most advanced form of molecular nanotechnology is often imagined to involve self-replicating molecular machines, and there have been some speculations suggesting something similar might be possible with analogues of molecules composed of nucleons rather than atoms. For example, the astrophysicist Frank Drake once speculated about the possibility of self-replicating organisms composed of such nuclear molecules living on the surface of a neutron star, a suggestion taken up in the science fiction novel Dragon's Egg by the physicist Robert Forward. It is thought by physicists that nuclear molecules may be possible, but they would be very short-lived, and whether they could actually be made to perform complex tasks such as self-replication, or what type of technology could be used to manipulate them, is unknown.
Practical applications of femtotechnology are currently considered to be unlikely. The spacings between nuclear energy levels require equipment capable of efficiently generating and processing gamma rays, without equipment degradation. The nature of the strong interaction is such that excited nuclear states tend to be very unstable (unlike the excited electron states in Rydberg atoms), and there are a finite number of excited states below the nuclear binding energy, unlike the (in principle) infinite number of bound states available to an atom’s electrons. Similarly, what is known about the excited states of individual nucleons seems to indicate that these do not produce behavior that in any way makes nucleons easier to use or manipulate, and indicates instead that these excited states are even less stable and fewer in number than the excited states of atomic nuclei.
Atomtronics is an emerging sub-field of ultracold atomic physics which encompasses a broad range of topics featuring guided atomic matter waves. The systems typically include components analogous to those found in electronic or optical systems, such as beam splitters and transistors. Applications range from studies of fundamental physics to the development of practical devices.Automated restaurant
Automated restaurant or robotic restaurant is a restaurant that uses robots to do tasks such as delivering food and drinks to the tables and/or to cook the food.Backpack helicopter
A backpack helicopter is a helicopter motor and rotor and controls assembly that can be strapped to a person's back, so he can walk about on the ground wearing it, and can use it to fly. It uses a harness like a parachute harness and should have a strap between the legs (so the pilot does not fall out of the harness during flight). Some designs may use a ducted fan design to increase upward thrust. Several inventors have tried to make backpack helicopters, with mixed results.
Typically, a backpack helicopter differs from a conventional helicopter in two main ways:
First, there is no tail rotor, and the main rotors are contra-rotating. Yaw is controlled by fine adjustment of a differential gear in the rotor drive transmission. When one rotor is adjusted to spin slightly faster than the other, it induces yaw (turning motion).
Second, the rotors are fixed pitch, which assists with simplicity; this means, however, that in the event of engine failure autorotation is impossible. Usually, a ballistic parachute would be incorporated for safety.
An edition of Popular Science magazine in 1969 featured a backpack helicopter that used small jet engines in a tip jet configuration instead of contra-rotating rotors. This design could function in autorotation. Related are devices like a backpack helicopter which also include a seat and leg supports, which are small, open-topped helicopters. In theory, a helicopter would be more efficient than a rocket-powered jetpack, possessing a greater specific impulse, and being more suited to hovering, due to the lower velocities of the propelled gases.Bionic contact lens
Bionic contact lenses are devices that, it is proposed by the manufacturers and developers, could provide a virtual display that could have a variety of uses from assisting the visually impaired to video gaming. The device will have the form of a conventional contact lens with added bionics technology in the form of augmented reality, with functional electronic circuits and infrared lights to create a virtual display allowing the viewer to see a computer-generated display superimposed on the world outside.Closed ecological system
Closed ecological systems (CES) are ecosystems that do not rely on matter exchange with any part outside the system.
The term is most often used to describe small manmade ecosystems. Such systems are scientifically interesting and can potentially serve as a life support system during space flights, in space stations or space habitats.In a closed ecological system, any waste products produced by one species must be used by at least one other species. If the purpose is to maintain a life form, such as a mouse or a human, waste products such as carbon dioxide, feces and urine must eventually be converted into oxygen, food, and water.
A closed ecological system must contain at least one autotrophic organism. While both chemotrophic and phototrophic organisms are plausible, almost all closed ecological systems to date are based on a phototroph such as green algae.Exotic baryon
Exotic baryons are a type of hadron (bound states of quarks and gluons) with half-integer spin, but have a quark content different to the three quarks (qqq) present in conventional baryons. An example would be pentaquarks, consisting of four quarks and one antiquark (qqqqq̅).
So far, the only observed exotic baryons are the pentaquarks P+c(4380) and P+c(4450), discovered in 2015 by the LHCb collaboration.Several types of exotic baryons that require physics beyond the Standard Model have been conjectured in order to explain specific experimental anomalies. There is no independent experimental evidence for any of these particles. One example is supersymmetric R-baryons, which are bound states of 3 quarks and a gluino. The lightest R-baryon is denoted as S0 and consists of an up quark, a down quark, a strange quark and a gluino. This particle is expected to be long lived or stable and has been invoked to explain ultra-high-energy cosmic rays. Stable exotic baryons are also candidates for strongly interacting dark matter.
It has been speculated by futurologist Ray Kurzweil that by the end of the 21st century it might be possible by using femtotechnology to create new chemical elements composed of exotic baryons that would eventually constitute a new periodic table of elements in which the elements would have completely different properties than the regular chemical elements.Femtochemistry
Femtochemistry is the area of physical chemistry that studies chemical reactions on extremely short timescales (approximately 10−15 seconds or one femtosecond, hence the name) in order to study the very act of atoms within molecules (reactants) rearranging themselves to form new molecules (products). In 1999, Ahmed Hassan Zewail received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his pioneering work in this field showing that it is possible to see how atoms in a molecule move during a chemical reaction with flashes of laser light.Application of femtochemistry in biological studies has also helped to elucidate the conformational dynamics of stem-loop RNA structures.Many publications have discussed the possibility of controlling chemical reactions by this method, but this remains controversial. The steps in some reactions occur in the femtosecond timescale and sometimes in attosecond timescales, and will sometimes form intermediate products. These reaction intermediates cannot always be deduced from observing the start and end products.Ferroelectric liquid crystal display
Ferroelectric Liquid Crystal Display (FLCD) is a display technology based on the ferroelectric properties of chiral smectic liquid crystals as proposed in 1980 by Clark and Lagerwall.The FLCD did not make many inroads as a direct view display device. Manufacturing of larger FLCDs was problematic making them unable to compete against direct view LCDs based on nematic liquid crystals using the Twisted nematic field effect or In-Plane Switching. Today, the FLCD is used in reflective microdisplays based on Liquid Crystal on Silicon technology. Using ferroelectric liquid crystal (FLC) in FLCoS technology allows a much smaller display area which eliminates the problems of manufacturing larger area FLC displays. Additionally, the dot pitch or pixel pitch of such displays can be as low as 6 µm giving a very high resolution display in a small area. To produce color and grey-scale, time multiplexing is used, exploiting the sub-millisecond switching time of the ferroelectric liquid crystal.
These microdisplays find applications in 3D head mounted displays (HMD), image insertion in surgical microscopes and electronic viewfinders where direct-view LCDs fail to provide more than 600 ppi resolution.
Ferroelectric LCoS also finds commercial uses in Structured illumination for 3D-Metrology and Super-resolution microscopy. Some commercial products use FLCD.High switching speed allows building optical switches and shutters in printer heads.Hype cycle
The hype cycle is a branded graphical presentation developed and used by the American research, advisory and information technology firm Gartner to represent the maturity, adoption, and social application of specific technologies. The hype cycle provides a graphical and conceptual presentation of the maturity of emerging technologies through five phases.
An example of a hype cycle is found in Amara's law coined by Roy Amara, which states that We tend to overestimate the effect of a technology in the short run and underestimate the effect in the long run.Multi-function structure
Multi-function material is a composite material. The traditional approach to the development of structures is to address the loadcarrying function and other functional requirements separately. Recently, however, there has been increased interest in the development of load-bearing materials and structures which have integral non-load-bearing functions, guided by recent discoveries about how multifunctional biological systems work.Multi-primary color display
Multi-primary color (MPC) display is a display that can reproduce a wider gamut color than conventional displays. In addition to the standard RGB (Red Green and Blue) color subpixels, the technology utilizes additional colors, such as yellow, magenta and cyan, and thus increases the range of displayable colors that the human eye can see.Sharp's Quattron is the brand name of an LCD color display technology that utilizes a yellow fourth color subpixel. It is used in Sharp's Aquos LCD TV product line, particularly in models with screens 40 inches across and larger.Organic light-emitting transistor
An organic light-emitting transistor (OLET) is a form of transistor that emits light. These transistors have potential for digital displays and on-chip optical interconnects. OLET is a new light-emission concept, providing planar light sources that can be easily integrated in substrates like silicon, glass, and paper using standard microelectronic techniques.OLETs differ from OLEDs in that an active matrix can be made entirely of OLETs, whereas OLEDs must be combined with switching elements such as TFTs.Picotechnology
The term picotechnology is a portmanteau of picometer and technology, intended to parallel the term nanotechnology. It is a hypothetical future level of technological manipulation of matter, on the scale of trillionths of a meter or picoscale (10−12). This is three orders of magnitude smaller than a nanometer (and thus most nanotechnology) and two orders of magnitude smaller than most chemistry transformations and measurements. Picotechnology would involve the manipulation of matter at the atomic level. A further hypothetical development, femtotechnology, would involve working with matter at the subatomic level.Plasma weapon
When discussing weapons in science fiction, a plasma weapon is a type of raygun that fires a stream, bolt(s), pulse or toroid of plasma (i.e. very hot, very energetic excited matter). The primary damage mechanism of these fictional weapons is usually thermal transfer; it typically causes serious burns, and often immediate death of living creatures, and melts or evaporates other materials. In certain fiction, plasma weapons may also have a significant kinetic energy component, that is to say the ionized material is projected with sufficient momentum to cause some secondary impact damage in addition to causing high thermal damage. In some fictions, like Star Wars, plasma is highly effective against mechanical targets such as droids. The ionized gas disrupts their systems.
Fictional plasma weapons are often visually analogous to real-life plasma torches that cut into materials for industrial use purposes; however, said torches currently only produce a plasma jet of several inches at most.Pushing Ice
Pushing Ice is a 2005 science fiction novel by Welsh author Alastair Reynolds. According to Reynolds' Web site, the story takes place in a different universe from his Revelation Space stories.Screenless video
Screenless video is any system for transmitting visual information from a video source without the use of a screen. Screenless computing systems can be divided into three groups: Visual Image, Retinal Direct, and Synaptic Interface.Twistronics
Twistronics is the study of how the angle (the twist) between layers of two-dimensional materials can change their electrical properties. Materials such as graphene have been shown to have vastly different electrical properties (ranging from non-conductive to superconductive) depending on the angle between the layers.Utility fog
Utility fog (coined by Dr. John Storrs Hall in 1989) is a hypothetical collection of tiny robots that can replicate a physical structure. As such, it is a form of self-reconfiguring modular robotics.Virtual retinal display
A virtual retinal display (VRD), also known as a retinal scan display (RSD) or retinal projector (RP), is a display technology that draws a raster display (like a television) directly onto the retina of the eye. The user sees what appears to be a conventional display floating in space in front of them.
Levels of technological manipulation of matter