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How to create objects using the molecular structure as the blueprint? Answered

I am curious if it is possible to isolate then combine specific molecules into a desired object.

Something easy to explain with is the molecular structure of Iron. We know what the structure is and what it is that comprises it. Would it be possible to isolate the different parts, deconstructing, the molecule and then rebuilding the molecule, re materializing, an iron molecule.

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rickharris

3 years ago

In essence this is what chemistry is. Combining atoms and molecules - Different combinations give different results.

For example is is fairly easy to take iron oxide (iron ore) and release the oxygen to leave behind iron again.

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ODIS2100rickharris

Answer 3 years ago

That makes perfect sense. I know some processes can be lengthy but could there be a way to speed up the process to a more instant effect?

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rickharrisODIS2100

Answer 3 years ago

In chemistry there are several ways to speed things up, catalysts, heat, agitation.

To really make the star trek system work we would need to emulate the way a living system operates. Using enzymes as nano building machines to take molecules apart and "glue" them back together in a different way. Not impossible - Beef has been synthesized, all of our metals are processed in some way from an ore often an oxide, we use nature to take carbon from the air and recombine it to make cellulose to build trees for us - in a way we even have instant wood in the form of MDF a machine made board material.

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Downunder35m

3 years ago

Molecular (re-)construction is already done in some labs and on a tiny scale.
The problem it a lack of suitable technology.
See it a bit like this if you would go to extremes:
(Going with the Start Trek theme here)
Take aluminium as a prime example, we already produce endless amounts of different alloys and they all have quite different properties compared to the raw material.
If you would go a step further away from the chemistry and directly manipulate the crystal structure and molecule/atom bindings you literally get an entire new product.
It still is aluminium but most properties would not be comparable to normal aluminium allows like we know today.
Just say you could fill the voids in the molecular structure with other molecules that bind to the alumium - it could be far stronger than steel and also be much harder.
Go the other way and strech those bonds and allow for strong but flexible "fillers" and you could produce flexible or even transparent (up to a point) aluminium.

IMHO it comes down to process control and knowledge we still need to obtain.
Look how microchips are produced to get a glimps on the huge amounts of gizmos and extras required, starting with clean rooms...
Like many other things I would also say copying nature is a good starting point.
We already use nature for constructions of complex materials and buildings so it would make sense to look at nature again to see how the elements we know are actually formed.
With that knowledge we have the "process parameters" required and can start to think of ways how to manipulate them safely.
Creating Helium from Hydrogen is no problem, but the cleanup after Fat Boy dropped is a big mess, cold fusion comes into mind to avoid it.
And if we go even one step further then we also have to consider anti matter as a way to manipulate our know elements...

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Kiteman

3 years ago

Are you asking about Star Trek teleporters, or Star Trek replicators?

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ODIS2100Kiteman

Answer 3 years ago

The idea comes from thinking how would a replicator work. So far this is one of two theories I've been thinking. The other would deconstruct the material into photons then hold them in stasis till it is released. Though the second wouldn't be "replication" unless the photons could be replicated through the device but that would require digitizing a massive amount of objects if it were possible.