Saturday, October 15, 2011

The Caveman and the Nanotubes

Once upon a time there was a man, a hairy man, who lived in a cave. The location of the cave is not know precisely, but scientists surmise that it was somewhere southeast of Des Moines, Iowa, in the good old US of A. This is known because the cave man's bones have been found in that vicinity. And in Los Angeles near the Jet Propulsion Lab, and in Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri side.

How, you say, were scientists able to discern that the bones came from the same caveman?

Elementary, my Dear Watson de la Cruz. They were an odd shade of green.

Plus, rather like an interlocking 1,000 piece jigsaw puzzle, the wizards or the lab found they could connect the neck bone of  Des Moines to the backbone of Los Angeles to the hip bone of the Ozarks. "Praise da word of da Lord!"

On investigating the bones, scientists were able to discover that the green tinge was not from the bones themselves, but from a fine coating of nanotubes, rather like a wool shirt, covering the bones. If you have been doing your science reading, you will know that today's modern man is also going down this path of building nanotubes. You take the basic nano material, stretch it until it pops into the shape of a tube made of a bazillion little hexagons, dip it in kickapoo joy juice to coat it with ions, and voila' it twists and shouts on command, generating torque about 1,000 times its own mass.

Torque is the spinning force found in motors.

So these little tubes can be made to twist and shout under certain conditions, which creates a motor finer than a human hair. Imagine that!

So these little motors enable applied scientists, who are the dudes who actually use the materials concocted by the theoretical scientists  (not that the scientists are theoretical themselves; they really exist . . . but their work is theoretical until it is proven, then, because it is no longer theoretical, they publish an article in some obscure technical magazine, pray for a Nobel prize and the $ million that comes with it, and move on to other mindbending discoveries), to control small valves and do other useful things, which shall remain unstated at this point because they remain top-secret because the military applications are such that the balance of world power tips on the edge of one of the little hexagons that comprise a tiny tube.

I'll give you a hint, though. Drones the size of a gnat carrying nukes the size of a gnat's gonad.

But I digress . . . not only that, but I run at the mouth . . .

So how, you might ask, did a caveman get his bones packed in green nanotubes and splattered across the land of the free?

You know, I don't really know.

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