[extropy-chat] An Error in Nanosystems!

Hal Finney hal at finney.org
Wed Apr 7 07:44:21 UTC 2004

Stop the presses!  I've found a mistake in Drexler's magnum opus,
Nanosystems, the book in which it is said that no one has ever found
an error.  For years, Nanosystems and the Bible have been neck and neck
in the race for perfection.  Now the upstart from 1992 may be losing
ground to the inerrant word of God.

The mistake is right at the beginning, in the caption to figure 1.1,
which shows a molecular bearing.  But you don't have to see the picture
to spot the error:

"Figure 1.1.  End views and exploded views of a sample overlap-repulsion
bearing design (shown in both ball-and-stick and space-filling
representations).  Geometries represent energy minima determined by the
MM2/CSC molecular mechanics software.  Note the six-fold symmetry of the
shaft structure and the fourteen-fold symmetry of the surrounding ring;
this relatively prime combination results in low energy barriers to
rotation of the shaft within the ring.  Bearing structures are discussed
further in Chapter 10...."

Can you see the flaw?  I'll let readers here try to figure it out.

Now, if only I could find some kind of mistake in the Bible...


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