Monomolecular wire

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Monomolecular wire is a type of wire consisting of a single strand of strongly bonded atoms or molecules, like carbon nanotubes.

Contents

In science

The process of forming a monatomic silver wire. Ag atomic wire.jpg
The process of forming a monatomic silver wire.

Organic molecular wires have been proposed for use in optoelectronics. [1]

In fiction

Among the earliest descriptions of a super-strong filament are the film The Man in the White Suit (1951), in which a scientist develops a monofilament cloth fibre that will never wear out, and Theodore Sturgeon's "The Incubi of Parallel X" (Planet Stories, Sep 1951), [2] where a "molecularly condensed fibre" is used as a zipline. [3]

An early example of a material similar to monomolecular wire deliberately used as a weapon and cutting tool is "borazon-tungsten filament" in G. Randall Garrett's "Thin Edge." (Analog, Dec 1963) [4] The main character uses a strand from an asteroid towing-cable to cut jail bars and to booby-trap the door of his room. Many later writers, including John Brunner, Frank Herbert, William Gibson and George R. R. Martin, have also used monomolecular or similar wire as a weapon or tool. [3]

Perhaps the best-known proposed use of monomolecular wire ("hyperfilament") is in the cables of a space elevator. Although there were a few earlier scientific papers suggesting the concept, a fully realized space elevator was first described in 1979 in Arthur Clarke's The Fountains of Paradise and Charles Sheffield's The Web Between the Worlds . The concept has been used in later fiction by Robert A. Heinlein, Iain M. Banks, Larry Niven and others. [3]

Related Research Articles

Space elevator Proposed type of space transportation system

A space elevator is a proposed type of planet-to-space transportation system. The main component would be a cable anchored to the surface and extending into space. The design would permit vehicles to travel along the cable from a planetary surface, such as the Earth's, directly into space or orbit, without the use of large rockets. An Earth-based space elevator would consist of a cable with one end attached to the surface near the equator and the other end in space beyond geostationary orbit. The competing forces of gravity, which is stronger at the lower end, and the outward/upward centrifugal force, which is stronger at the upper end, would result in the cable being held up, under tension, and stationary over a single position on Earth. With the tether deployed, climbers could repeatedly climb the tether to space by mechanical means, releasing their cargo to orbit. Climbers could also descend the tether to return cargo to the surface from orbit.

Wire Single, usually cylindrical, flexible strand or rod of metal

A wire is a single usually cylindrical, flexible strand or rod of metal. Wires are used to bear mechanical loads or electricity and telecommunications signals. Wire is commonly formed by drawing the metal through a hole in a die or draw plate. Wire gauges come in various standard sizes, as expressed in terms of a gauge number. The term 'wire' is also used more loosely to refer to a bundle of such strands, as in "multistranded wire", which is more correctly termed a wire rope in mechanics, or a cable in electricity.

Yarn Long continuous length of interlocked fibers

Yarn is a long continuous length of interlocked fibres, suitable for use in the production of textiles, sewing, crocheting, knitting, weaving, embroidery, or ropemaking. Thread is a type of yarn intended for sewing by hand or machine. Modern manufactured sewing threads may be finished with wax or other lubricants to withstand the stresses involved in sewing. Embroidery threads are yarns specifically designed for needlework.

Carbon fibers Material fibers about 5–10 μm in diameter composed of carbon

Carbon fibers or carbon fibres are fibers about 5–10 micrometres in diameter and composed mostly of carbon atoms. Carbon fibers have several advantages including high stiffness, high tensile strength, low weight, high chemical resistance, high temperature tolerance and low thermal expansion. These properties have made carbon fiber very popular in aerospace, civil engineering, military, and motorsports, along with other competition sports. However, they are relatively expensive when compared with similar fibers, such as glass fibers or plastic fibers.

Braid Complex structure or pattern formed by interlacing two or more strands of flexible material

A braid is a complex structure or pattern formed by interlacing two or more strands of flexible material such as textile yarns, wire, or hair. The materials used have depended on the indigenous plants and animals available in the local area. Braids have been made for thousands of years, in many different cultures around the world, for a variety of uses.

Rope Linear combination of plies, yarns or strands which are twisted or braided together

A rope is a group of yarns, plies, fibers or strands that are twisted or braided together into a larger and stronger form. Ropes have tensile strength and so can be used for dragging and lifting. Rope is thicker and stronger than similarly constructed cord, string, and twine.

Lunar space elevator proposed transportation system

A lunar space elevator or lunar spacelift is a proposed transportation system for moving a mechanical climbing vehicle up and down a ribbon-shaped tethered cable that is set between the surface of the Moon "at the bottom" and a docking port suspended tens of thousands of kilometers above in space at the top.

Fibre-reinforced plastic (FRP) is a composite material made of a polymer matrix reinforced with fibres. The fibres are usually glass, carbon, aramid, or basalt. Rarely, other fibres such as paper, wood, or asbestos have been used. The polymer is usually an epoxy, vinyl ester, or polyester thermosetting plastic, though phenol formaldehyde resins are still in use.

Borazon is a brand name of a cubic form of boron nitride (cBN). Its color ranges from black to brown and gold, depending on the chemical bond. It is one of the hardest known materials, along with various forms of diamond and kinds of boron nitride. Borazon is a crystal created by heating equal quantities of boron and nitrogen at temperatures greater than 1800 °C (3300 °F) at 7 GPa.

A wire is a strand of drawn metal used especially in electrical conductors and fencing.

Litz wire multistrand wire or cable used to carry alternating current at radio frequencies

Litz wire is a special type of multistrand wire or cable used in electronics to carry alternating current (AC) at radio frequencies. The wire is designed to reduce the skin effect and proximity effect losses in conductors used at frequencies up to about 1 MHz. It consists of many thin wire strands, individually insulated and twisted or woven together, following one of several carefully prescribed patterns often involving several levels. The result of these winding patterns is to equalize the proportion of the overall length over which each strand is at the outside of the conductor. This has the effect of distributing the current equally among the wire strands, reducing the resistance. Litz wire is used in high Q inductors for radio transmitters and receivers operating at low frequencies, induction heating equipment and switching power supplies.

Wire rope rope made from wire

Wire rope is several strands of metal wire twisted into a helix forming a composite "rope", in a pattern known as "laid rope". Larger diameter wire rope consists of multiple strands of such laid rope in a pattern known as "cable laid".

The manufacture of textiles is one of the oldest of human technologies. To make textiles, the first requirement is a source of fibre from which a yarn can be made, primarily by spinning. The yarn is processed by knitting or weaving, which turns yarn into cloth. The machine used for weaving is the loom. For decoration, the process of colouring yarn or the finished material is dyeing. For more information of the various steps, see textile manufacturing.

Non-rocket spacelaunch refers to concepts for launch into space where some or all of the needed speed and altitude are provided by something more powerful or other than rockets, or by other than expendable rockets. A number of alternatives to expendable rockets have been proposed. In some systems such as a combination launch system, skyhook, rocket sled launch, rockoon, or air launch, a rocket would be part, but only part of the system used to reach orbit.

Space tether long cables which move satellites in space

Space tethers are long cables which can be used for propulsion, momentum exchange, stabilization and attitude control, or maintaining the relative positions of the components of a large dispersed satellite/spacecraft sensor system. Depending on the mission objectives and altitude, spaceflight using this form of spacecraft propulsion is theorized to be significantly less expensive than spaceflight using rocket engines.

ADF-H domain InterPro Domain

In molecular biology, ADF-H domain is an approximately 150 amino acid motif that is present in three phylogenetically distinct classes of eukaryotic actin-binding proteins.

Hypothetical technology is technology that does not exist yet, but that could exist in the future. This article presents examples of technologies that have been hypothesized or proposed, but that have not been developed yet.

Sliding filament theory Explanation of muscle contraction

The sliding filament theory explains the mechanism of muscle contraction based on muscle proteins that slide past each other to generate movement. According to the sliding filament theory, the myosin (thick) filaments of muscle fibers slide past the actin (thin) filaments during muscle contraction, while the two groups of filaments remain at relatively constant length.

String (structure) long, flexible structure made from fibers twisted together

String is a long flexible structure made from fibers twisted together into a single strand, or from multiple such strands which are in turn twisted together. String is used to tie, bind, or hang other objects. It is also used as a material to make things, such as textiles, and in arts and crafts. String is a simple tool, and its use by humans is known to have been developed tens of thousands of years ago. In Mesoamerica, for example, string was invented some 20,000 to 30,000 years ago, and was made by twisting plant fibers together. String may also be a component in other tools, and in devices as diverse as weapons, musical instruments, and toys.

<i>The Web Between the Worlds</i> book by Charles Sheffield

The Web Between the Worlds is the second science fiction novel by Charles Sheffield. It was first published as a trade paperback by Ace Books in 1979, by the first UK edition in hardcover by Sidgwick & Jackson Ltd the following year. Further editions were published by Arrow Books, Ace Books, Del Rey/Ballantyne and others; in 2001 Baen Books issued a revised edition. The novel has also been translated into German and French. This novel and the simultaneously published novel The Fountains of Paradise, by Arthur C. Clarke, are the first popularization of the space elevator.

References

  1. Laurens D. A. Siebbeles, Ferdinand C. Grozema (July 18, 2011), Charge and Exciton Transport through Molecular Wires , retrieved January 27, 2014
  2. "The Incubi of Parallel X". The Internet Speculative Fiction Database. IFSDB. Retrieved 24 May 2020.
  3. 1 2 3 "Themes: Monomolecular Wire". SFE–The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction. Gollancz/SFE. Retrieved 24 May 2020.
  4. "Thin Edge". Internet Science Fiction Database. IFSDB. Retrieved 24 May 2020.