Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Big idea for a Big project

It seems a lot of people are interested in sorters of one type or another and with good reason. I was thinking it might be interesting/entertaining to build one. The type I have in mind right now is based on the centripetal force, basically a nanoscale centrifuge. I am sure anyone that has taken a general chemistry class is familiar with type you drop test tubes in and let rip. I think I could recreate this with a diamond hub with capped carbon nanotubes radiating outward like test tubes. I could even try to use all my diamond horological parts to start and stop the rotation, maybe stop the rotation in a precise way so the tubes are in a known position.

It would be neat to pack these tubes with various things[

chunks of DNA
molecules trapped in C60s
amino acids

]run a big old simulation on it, then on the last frame of the simulation cut the tube open to see the position of the contents.

Anyone have any thoughts on this?


Perry E. Metzger said...

The Pascaline seems easier, and you haven't really done it yet. One project at a time. :)

More practically, molecular sorting equipment may require ab initio methods because the price configuration of local electric fields will be of significant importance. (Note I say "may", there might be ways to do that without ab initio methods, but it would probably require MM software optimized for the purpose.)

Tom said...

Your right; the challenge does add to the appeal!

So that's one vote for centrifuge.

Perry E. Metzger said...

I give up.