Nanoscale Communication Networks
Hello everyone, my name is Steve Bush and I am a researcher at Global Research, in the Computing & Decision Sciences organization. While in the office, I work on projects related to new forms of communication and information theory and have a lot of passion exploring novel ideas and seeing them pay off for our customers. I recently finished writing a book on nanoscale communication networks and wanted to blog a little about this experience and about the book itself.
As Feynman presciently stated about the atomic scale, “there is plenty of room at the bottom” and communication is needed down there. There is a growing body of contributions from diverse fields that both leverages nanoscale properties and overcomes the communication barriers of the nanoscale environment. These include molecular motors, random carbon nanotube networks, calcium signaling, and quantum networking, to name but a few. My book, Nanoscale Communication Networks focuses upon ad hoc communication networking at the nanoscale using all of these techniques and more.
It was fascinating to realize as I wrote this book that at the nanoscale, we are all interconnected in ways that many have never fully anticipated. The cells within our body must coordinate with one another to form a distinct human being; communication at the molecular and nanoscale enables this to take place. A single cell must coordinate its own organelles; and again, extremely small-scale communication takes place, some of it surprisingly mechanical in nature. Organisms can communicate with one another over surprisingly long distances at the nanoscale. How many of these techniques can we harness to enable human-engineered nanoscale communication; for example, to support nanorobotic communication and other rapidly advancing technologies? Characteristics of the communication channel at the nanoscale and molecular levels have been a key factor in the evolution of organisms and will be a key factor in enabling nanotechnology to advance.
I felt this book needed to be written because the applications are too significant and numerous to dismiss. One can imagine a human-engineered nanoscale in vivo Internet with the ability to communicate information to or from any area of the body, leveraging the body’s own signaling mechanisms, in order to better diagnose and treat diseases directly at the subcellular level. Nanoscale in vivo communication has the potential to avoid the harmful and invasive approach today of implanting radiation emitting radios with the body.
I hope that you find the textbook useful and that it may inspire others to take this field far beyond this meager beginning. I am especially thankful to my many friends and colleagues at GE Global Research, with their diverse fields of expertise and talents in many different labs and technologies, for their encouragement and support. I could not have put in the time and effort to accomplish this without their continued encouragement.