Nanoscale Rope


Blue Rope

Photo by Nevit Dilmen

Creating things on a nanoscale has always attracted my interest.  Then again, who would not be intrigued by the possibility of science creating a nanotube elevator into space?   Or, in the possibility of merging the knowledge of the internet with your brain.  Much of nanoscale research runs to the much more mundane however and the mundane is usually where the changes will happen.

For example, recently a team of researchers have figured out how to get molecules to assemble themselves into nanoscale ropes. (Wouldn’t that be a fun job?) The possibilities of a material like this are endless and much more likely to be adopted for wide-scale use  than nanotechnology that involves altering us humans.  Still…… I might be coaxed into the front of the line when that merging of the knowledge of the internet and the human brain becomes possible!


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Will Sig
1 Binky

Will they need little nanoscale people to climb the ropes?
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2 Will

You mean like little nanoscale Wombies?


3 Binky

I should work on those!
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4 RK Henderson

When I was a kid I read an Arthur C. Clarke novel whose main character carried around a nanorope in a case about the size of a cell phone (we now know), which he could clip to anything and rappel off it. He’d hang in air over the Grand Canyon, do the Batman thing off skyscrapers, and so on.

The rope was totally invisible, of course, because it was just a molecule thick. What I don’t remember is whether Clarke dealt with the fact that such a rope would also cut in half anyone who tried to walk through it. (Hello, inevitable military application.)


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5 Will

I remember the space elevators, which I think were made of nanorope in Clarke’s novel The Fountains of Paradise. But I never read the book with the kid with the nanorope in his pocket. I think the recent people who posit about nano-elevators into space envision them made of nanoparticles, but the elevators themselves would still be on a human scale.


6 Latia

How I could see this kind of rope..I really interested to this..Thank you for sharing this amazing story..


7 Julie

All the developments of the nanotechnology are incredible. The first I’ve heard about is the nanorobot. A small remote controlled robot which drives in our circulation system and finds and fights the germs inside. That will be the future. Ahm I’m sorry, that’s the future. And we’re living in it.



I think the “merging internet with brain” can really just say “Wikipedia for that matter.


9 Sandi

As we all know, science has a away of making those seemingly far-fetched gadgets or things possible. In my opinion, it is the military who will probably get first dibs on the nanorope.


10 Tony McGurk

I hear of this nanotechnology & the 1st thing that comes to mind is Michael Crichton’s novel “Prey”
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11 Will

I read that too and then I think there was a movie. Black clouds of flying nano-particles swooping in over the horizon chasing the poor humans into that cinder block building in the desert.


12 Tony McGurk

It was an excellent novel. I think as novels go it’s one of the best I’ve ever read. Not that I read that many books but I was totally captivated by it from start to finish.


13 Katharina25

Thanks Will for this information. Nanorope is best use in scaling small particles right?


14 YnnaRada

Hi Will! as i read about this Nanoscale Rope. This Rope is less than a millionth of a meter in diameter. Thanks for sharing your knowledge and i’m so excited to read more from you.


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