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Comments on Carbon Nanotube Knife Like Cheese Slicer
Fascinating development in materials science, predicted by Clarke thirty years ago for sf fans. (Read the complete story)

"How about the variable sword from Ringworld? That was earlier."
( 2/25/2012 3:30:45 PM)
"That's close, but not as close as the Clarke 1D diamond crystal. In Niven's 1970 novel Ringworld, he described the variable sword as a wire 'too thin to be visible' but it was 'protected and made rigid by a Slaver stasis field'. Follow the above links for more details."
(Bill Christensen 2/25/2012 6:14:56 PM)
"I thought I should put in a video to show how to use a wire cheese slicer. Now, the video.

Okay, G. Singh, P. Rice, R.L. Mahajan, and J.R. McIntosh - authors of 'Fabrication and characterization of a CNT based nano-knife' - I'm waiting for your video called 'How to use your nano-knife to cut vitrified cells'."
(Bill Christensen 2/25/2012 6:54:59 PM)

"The main difference is the means of keeping the filament under tension. With the backing frame holding the wire (as opposed to using a force field (variable sword), or inertia from a counterweight (monofilament whip), you have a frame sitting behind the cutting surface - something more akin to a monofilament axe. And now we've weaponized a cheese slicer. Niven would be proud."
(Joe the Rat 2/27/2012 6:47:35 AM)
"I thought that Clarke's was closer because in his example, the material itself (the hyperfilament) does the cutting. Whereas with Niven's variable sword, it's the Slaver field that is contacted, which disrupts molecular (or maybe even atomic) bonds. That's how the variable sword, loosely wielded by a person, can cut through a heavy metal chair."
(Bill Christensen 2/27/2012 1:40:42 PM)

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