I bought three books in the general area of nano-technology at the same time. This was the most technical, the smallest and about twice as expensive as the other two. I appreciate that it is a text book rather than popular science but I resented the high price because there are several typos which make the reading difficult. The general style also makes understanding elusive. On the whole I have given this three stars because I think that when I do crack the meaning of this book it will be useful and instructive, but only three stars because it is expensive for what it is and difficult to work with.
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Interesting for the principles - not the actual examples10 Jun. 2003
- Published on Amazon.com
This book centers around computational methods of assessing the behavior of nano-scale constructs, making the point that, at least with the materials he chose to investigate, the behaviors seen are not intuitive. A variety of different algorithms are examined for molecular dynamics computations, and the pros and cons (faster versus more accurate) are discussed. The downside to this book, as the author points out right from the start, is that he only dicusses objects constructed from aluminum (in a kryton environment -- no surface oxidation is allowed). While it is interesting that nano-scale aluminum does not behave as one might think (the high proportion of surface atoms, which are not bonded like internal atoms are, makes the melting points of the objects far, far lower than normal aluminum), why base an entire book on aluminum? Diamond, carbon nanotubes, and other "typical" nano materials are completely ignored. I suppose the book does what it sets out to do: Provide strong evidence that nano-engineering is NOT just scaled-down macro-engineering. The point is made that simulations and testing are required to determine material properties at the nano scale, and this could greatly complicate nano-design. But, I cannot help but come away disappointed from a book with dozens of simulated examples, that probably took hundreds of hours of computer time, which fails to include a single carbon-based structure. How about a SINGLE SENTENCE to the effect of "When we created this piece out of diamond, we did (or did not) see the same issues with melting points, sublimation, etc"? But, if you want some nitty-gritty on nano-scale simulation, this is a good book. The author has done some interesting work with modifying AutoCad to work with molecular dynamics simulations, and explains which algorithms scale best for parallel processing, along with some other interesting pieces of info. No doubt this type of work will be crucial in realizing mature nanotechnology.