VII. Pedia Sapiens: A Genesis Future on Earth and in the Heavens
1. Mind Over Matter: A Quantum, Atomic, Chemical Materiality
Fagerberg, Jan, et al, eds. Innovations Studies: Evolution and Future Challenges. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013. A Norwegian, Danish and British team edits conference proceedings about how to reorient education, companies, institutions, societies and states, to be more innovative, as broadly conceived, to achieve a much better world. And while perusing, one wonders if here is another role for the human phenomenon so as to begin a new intentional creation.
Gaining such knowledge is the aim of the field of innovation studies, which is now at least half a century old. Hence, it is an opportune time to ask what has been achieved and what we still need to know more about. This is what this book sets out to explore. Written by a number of central contributors to the field, it critically examines the current state of the art and identifies issues that merit greater attention. The focus is mainly on how society can derive the greatest benefit from innovation and what needs to done to achieve this. However, to learn more about how society can benefit more from innovation, one also needs to understand innovation processes in firms and how these interact with broader social, institutional and political factors.
Fleming, Graham and Mark Ratner. Grand Challenges in Basic Energy Sciences. Physics Today. July, 2008. A summary of the task work and publications of the Basic Energy Sciences Advisory Committee of the Department of Energy, chaired by the authors, which can be accessed here: http://www.sc.doe.gov/bes/reports/abstracts.html#GC. To its credit, the effort delves deeper than a litany of alternatives sources to evoke a new creation by way of mind over matter at the scale of the electron. By this vista, to reflect, informed sentience appears in a cosmic genesis via planetary cerebration to begin a second singularity and phase of intentional redesign, control, and optimization for the material sustenance of life and persons.
Floreano, Dario and Claudio Mattiussi. Bio-Inspired Artificial Intelligence. Cambridge: MIT Press, 2008. Swiss Federal Institute of Technology computer scientists sketch a ‘new AI’ beyond machine-cybernetic efforts so as to model natural viabilities that exhibit “behavioral autonomy, self-healing, social interaction, evolution and learning.” Chapters variously survey Evolutionary, Cellular, Neural, Developmental, Immune, Behavioral, and Collective Systems that reproduce and express “the same processes that operate in nature” such as self-organization and dynamic network geometries. By this approach, it ought to be noted, as these creative attributes may now pass to intentional human furtherance.
Imitation of Life: How Biology is Inspiring Computing.
Cambridge: MIT Press,
A survey of artificial neural networks, DNA computation, nanoscale self-assembly, amorphous computing, cellular automata, genetic algorithmns, and artificial life on the way to a biologically-based digital future.
Frei, Regina and Giovanna Di Marzo Serugendo. The Future of Complexity Engineering. Central European Journal of Engineering. 2/2, 2012. In this new Springer journal, Cranfield University and University of Geneva applied scientists offer another take on how might creative natural principles of organic evolution might be defined and carried ahead so as to reinhabit a better local and global, sustainable world.
Complexity Engineering encompasses a set of approaches to engineering systems which are typically composed of various interacting entities often exhibiting self-* behaviours and emergence. The engineer or designer uses methods that benefit from the findings of complexity science and often considerably differ from the classical engineering approach of “divide and conquer”. This article provides an overview on some very interdisciplinary and innovative research areas and projects in the field of Complexity Engineering, including synthetic biology, chemistry, artificial life, self-healing materials and others. It then classifies the presented work according to five types of nature-inspired technology, namely: (1) using technology to understand nature, (2) nature-inspiration for technology, (3) using technology on natural systems, (4) using biotechnology methods in software engineering, and (5) using technology to model nature. Finally, future trends in Complexity Engineering are indicated and related risks are discussed.
Geng, Yina, et al. Engineering Entropy for the Inverse Design of Colloidal Crystals from Hard Shapes. arXiv:1712.02471. University of Michigan materials scientists including Sharon Glotzer and Greg van Anders continue with their frontier creations of novel structural forms by way of intentional applications of fundamental physical principles.
Throughout the physical sciences, entropy stands out as a pivotal but enigmatic concept that, in materials design, often takes a backseat to energy. Here, we demonstrate how to precisely engineer entropy to achieve desired colloidal crystals. We demonstrate the inverse design of hard particles that assemble six different target colloidal crystals due solely to entropy maximization. Our approach efficiently samples 108 particle shapes from 88- and 192-dimensional design spaces to discover thermodynamically optimal shapes. We design particle shapes that self assemble known crystals with optimized thermodynamic stability, as well as new crystal structures with no known atomic or other equivalent. (Abstract)
Gilder, George. Microcosm. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1989. An early advocate of the global Internet revolution extols the triumph of emergent mind over recalcitrant matter which augurs for an exuberant recreation of the material realm.
Girovsky, Jan, et al. Emergence of Quasiparticle Bloch States in Artificial Crystals Crafted by Atom-by-Atom. SciPost Physics. 2/020, 2017. Quantum Nanoscience, Delft University of Technology and Iberian Nanotechnology, Portugal researchers including Sander Otte provide another example of a collaborative humanity commencing a second material creation. As this section reports, by virtue of deep quantum, atomic, molecular techniques, along with computational acumen, it increasingly seems, as seemingly intended, that human beings are meant to take it anew from here on. Visit the Otte Lab publications page for more articles such as Atomic Spin-Chain Realization of a Model for Quantum Criticality.
The interaction of electrons with a periodic potential of atoms in crystalline solids gives rise to band structure. The band structure of existing materials can be measured by photoemission spectroscopy and accurately understood in terms of the tight-binding model, however not many experimental approaches exist that allow to tailor artificial crystal lattices using a bottom-up approach. The ability to engineer and study atomically crafted designer materials by scanning tunnelling microscopy and spectroscopy helps to understand the emergence of material properties. Here, we use atom manipulation of individual vacancies in a chlorine monolayer on Cu(100) to construct one- and two-dimensional structures of various densities and sizes. Local STS measurements reveal the emergence of quasiparticle bands, evidenced by standing Bloch waves, with tuneable dispersion. (Abstract)
Giuliani, Sameul, et al. Superheavy Elements: Oganesson and Beyond. Reviews of Modern Physics. 91/011001, 2019. Nine physicists from the National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory and Lawrence Livermore Laboratory, USA, University of Erlangen and Technical University Darmstadt, Germany, Variable Energy Cyclotron Centre, India, and Massey University, New Zealand review the state of past, present and future art as human ingenuity, now of a global scale, has been able to discover, arrange, and begin to draw forth atomic elements. See also a special Periodic Table sections in Nature for January 31, 2019, and Science for February 1, 2019.
During the last decade, six new superheavy elements were added into the seventh row of the periodic table. This milestone was followed by proclaiming 2019 the International Year of the Periodic Table of Chemical Elements by the United Nations General Assembly. According to theory, due to their large atomic numbers, the new arrivals are expected to be qualitatively and quantitatively different from lighter species. The questions pertaining to superheavy atoms and nuclei are in the forefront of research in nuclear and atomic physics and chemistry. This Colloquium survey offers a broad perspective on the field and outlines future challenges. (Abstract)
Goral, Prashun, et al. Computationally Guided Discovery of Thermoelectric Materials. Nature Reviews Materials. 2/17053, 2017. We add this work by National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Colorado, researchers as a report of nascent abilities to delve into atomic and electronic structures so as to create novel, effective substances.
The potential for advances in thermoelectric materials, and thus solid-state refrigeration and power generation, is immense. Progress so far has been limited by both the breadth and diversity of the chemical space and the serial nature of experimental work. In this Review, we discuss how recent computational advances are revolutionizing our ability to predict electron and phonon transport and scattering, as well as materials dopability, and we examine efficient approaches to calculating critical transport properties across large chemical spaces. Through computational predictions for both materials searches and design, a new paradigm in thermoelectric materials discovery is emerging. (Abstract excerpt)
Greco, Ralph, et al, eds. Nanoscale Technology in Biological Systems. Boca Raton: CRC Press, 2005. The latest advances with an emphasis on novel biomaterials and medical applications.
Gromski, Piotr, et al. How to Explore Chemical Space Using Algorithms and Automation. Nature Reviews Chemistry. 3/119, 2019. University of Glasgow computational chemists in coauthor Leroy Cronin’s lab explore the frontiers of novel material discovery, composition and enhanced utility.
Although extending the reactivity of a given class of molecules is relatively straightforward, the discovery of genuinely new reactivity and the molecules that result is a more challenging problem. Here, we describe how searching chemical space using automation and algorithms improves the probability of discovery. The former enables routine chemical tasks to be performed more quickly and consistently, while the latter uses algorithms to facilitate the searching of chemical knowledge databases. In order to find new chemical laws, we must seek to question current assumptions and biases. Accomplishing that involves algorithms to perform searches, and more general machine learning to predict the chemistry under investigation. (Abstract excerpt)