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What Would a Femtometer Scale Utility Fog Be Useful For?

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Utility fog is a swarm robotics concept in which a mesh of robots barely larger than a grain of pollen (5 micrometer ( $10^{-6} $ m ) bodies and 50 micrometer arms) are dodecahedrons (12 sided polygons) ending in telescoping arms (12 of them) ending in grabbers.

The concept is that the tiny robots, as a mass, have only a slightly reduced strength compared to the material they are made of (aluminum in the original proposition). But they can programmably "give way", letting utility fogs do all of the things science fiction force fields are capable of.

Although originally intended as an improvement to airbags, these self-rearranging scaffoldings could -- perform "feats of magic" lift/push/pull without any obvious mover, manipulate, heat, cool, even (when close enough together) provide a semi-impermeable barrier to air or water (airlocks).

I was wondering what would happen if we go smaller?

Within the nucleus of an atom (1 femtometer ( $ 10^{-15} $ m)) there are at as few as three, but could be as many as hundreds (uranium), of quarksQuarks have mass, and a electrical charge - positive, neutral, and negative. And it is the balance of these electrical charges that gives the nucleus it's net charge.

Quarks can change: from a positively charged up quark, to a negatively charged down quark - by exchange of a light-like boson between them.

It seems, then, possible (if not yet proven) that you could have a utility fog of individual atoms. The grabbers are electrons. Holding and releasing is governed by changing the net charge at the center of the atom.

What would an atom scale utility fog be useful for?

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Not the definition of Utility Fog (1 comment)

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