What is exponential assembly? - Definition from WhatIs.com

Definition

exponential assembly

Part of the Nanotechnology glossary:

In nanotechnology , exponential assembly is a form of self-replication in which tiny devices called nanorobots repeatedly construct copies of themselves. Four conditions must be met for exponential assembly to take place in an orderly manner.

The first condition is that each nanorobot must construct at least two copies of itself during its operational life. These copies must be exact in every detail, including the ability to reproduce. The more copies each unit can produce, the more rapidly the population will grow.

The second condition is that there must exist sufficient energy and ingredients so the process can continue for the specified length of time, or until a specified population of nanorobots is reached. Because the population grows exponentially, the number of units will increase rapidly. For example, if a population begins with one nanorobot, and if each unit creates three copies of itself, then the population will grow by powers of three. Suppose replication takes place on a daily basis and each nanorobot ends its useful life as soon as it has reproduced. Then after two days the population will be 3 2 = 9 units, after three days it will be 3 3 = 27 units, after four days it will be 3 4 = 81 units, and, in general, after n days the population will be 3 n units.

The third condition for exponential assembly is that the environment be controlled so the replication process can proceed efficiently. Excessive turbulence, temperature extremes, intense radiation, or other adverse circumstances might prevent the proper functioning of the nanorobots and cause the process to falter or fail before it is supposed to terminate.

The fourth condition is that the process be programmed to end at a certain point, or be modified so that the population cannot exceed a certain maximum number of units. Otherwise, the nanorobots will eventually crowd each other out of their world, and the process will come to a catastrophic halt.

Compare self-replication and also see nanotechnology , positional assembly , and self-assembly .

This was last updated in September 2005
Posted by: Margaret Rouse

Related Terms

Definitions

  • biomimetics (biomimicry)

    - Biomimetic refers to human-made processes, substances, devices, or systems that imitate nature. Biomimetic technologies are also known as biomimicry: mimicry of biological systems. (WhatIs.com)

  • Singularity (the)

    - The Singularity is the hypothetical future creation of superintelligent machines. Superintelligence is defined as a technologically-created cognitive capacity far beyond that possible for humans. (WhatIs.com)

  • gray goo (or grey goo)

    - Gray goo (in British spelling, "grey goo") is a term used to describe what life on our planet might become if self-replicating robots or nanomachines got out of control and began to use up life for... (WhatIs.com)

Glossaries

  • Nanotechnology

    - Terms related to nanotechnology, including manufacturing definitions and words and phrases about building machines at a molecular level.

  • Internet applications

    - This WhatIs.com glossary contains terms related to Internet applications, including definitions about Software as a Service (SaaS) delivery models and words and phrases about web sites, e-commerce ...

Ask a Question About exponential assemblyPowered by ITKnowledgeExchange.com

Get answers from your peers on your most technical challenges

Tech TalkComment

Share
Comments

    Results

    Contribute to the conversation

    All fields are required. Comments will appear at the bottom of the article.