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Using theoretical science within my book (graphic novel) ADVISE

  1. Jul 8, 2011 #1
    Here's a line from one of my characters "Take too long to aim. Stay close to the holster…and don’t lock yer’ arm. A to B, fastest way between two points is a straight line. Simple physics." I'm confused on whether that's basic physics or geometry. It's in reference to a quick draw like that of a gunfighter.
    *Note i'll update on other topics therein the literature some time in the future.
     
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  3. Jul 8, 2011 #2
    Is there a speck of possibility that within the theory of Nanotechnology; Nano-cells made to reconstruct dead human cell tissue, say for the eyes in this case, can alter human light perception to see ultraV/infraR light? Additionally, more to the sci-fiction aspect, could it go beyond "reach out to" the electromagnetic spectrum's infinitude.
     
  4. Jul 8, 2011 #3

    Ryan_m_b

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    Welcome to PF crugero. There is no such thing as "the theory of nanotechnology". Nanotechnology refers to any technology that includes some form of nanoengineering (specifically engineered on the nanoscale 1-100nm). By "Nano-cells" I presume you are talking about the science fiction ideas revolving around microscopic cell repair robots. This is outside the current research fields in medical nanotechnology, the focus is not on robots at all.

    With regards to Uv/IR sight there are already examples in nature of http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bird_vision#Ultraviolet". It is not possible to see all of the EM spectrum, I'm not an expert in this field but it is my understanding that if you wanted to see really short or long wavelengths you are going to need really short or long sensors.

    As for your OP I think it's perfectly fine to say "simple physics"
     
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  5. Jul 8, 2011 #4
    Actually I'm more adherent to a biological/mechanical hybrid. I felt the "robot" aspect was a little misplaced. By theory I meant the actually application of this technology. Basically what my story's premise is built on is a protagonist whom after a series of traumatic personal events disconnects from his current life. As a firefighter he's blinded. The man he saves offers him the chance to regain his sight through "Nano-cellular therapy" some three hundred years in the future, during which he's placed cryogenic stasis, until the tech is ready. As happenstance the tech is adapted towards a more predatory aim. Making the eye work in a framework of nanoseconds vs. milliseconds; basically cutting the neural transference between the eyes and effective brain lobes. So if you can imagine every sensory aspect of the eye working with the brain's motor and visual cortices to act, more or less without delay, you've got a highly reactive response time.
     
  6. Jul 8, 2011 #5

    Ryan_m_b

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    Again this is science fiction over real science. Though personally I would agree that if "cell-repair machines" were ever made they would be a product of synthetic biology rather than ridiculously infeasible mechanics.

    A far-more-likely and less far-future treatment for the blind could be either a http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:BCI_JensNaumann.png" [Broken].

    I'm not sure what you mean by less delay, do you mean to speed up the transmission of sensory input down the optic nerve to the occipital lobe? I doubt this would change much, transmission is on the order of milliseconds and still needs to be processed by the http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Visual_cortex" [Broken] before being acted upon. There would be no noticeable increase in a persons reflexes.
     
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  7. Jul 9, 2011 #6
    As Ryan pointed out it would realistically take a bit more than new eyes. You would have to speed up transmission from eye to brain, the processing time of the brain, and then transmission from brain to what ever part of the body in order to really speed up reaction time. Or at least it would require the first two steps, speeding up the processing time would be imperative otherwise you would just be overloading the visual cortex with too much information. At best the extra information would just be lost.

    Theoretically, and I mean scifi theoretically, the nanobots could create synthetic replacements/enhancements to the existing eyes and visual cortex in order to make them operate more quickly. At that point, unless these nanites are in limited supply, you may as well have them just invade his whole nervous system and speed the whole thing up though that would perhaps have far more effect than you really intend.
     
  8. Jul 9, 2011 #7

    Ryan_m_b

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    And then you would have to boost muscle speed, strength and efficiency (increasing the first two will result in much higher waste heat and energy necessity). The body is, for lack of a better word, finely tuned with thousands of metabolic processes interacting with each other in specific ways. Changing one could have drastic effects on the other.
     
  9. Jul 9, 2011 #8
    Certainly. I did not really want to go into a hypothetical about the possible dangers of increasing the electrical impulses through the nervous system as I couldn't really say with any confidence. Also, since its a graphic novel I doubt he really intends to go into great detail on the scientific accuracy. With comics there is usually a general idea that "Ah well, it works out somehow".

    Have you watched No Ordinary Family? Oh my, the inaccuracies are pretty bad. The episode where going really fast throws someone forward in time, and only temporarily, was one of my favourites.
     
  10. Jul 9, 2011 #9

    Borg

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    You guys aren't making his book any easier to write. :smile:

    Here's an idea for you cruggero. If I'm remembering correctly, cockroaches have tiny hairs on their legs which send signals directly to the legs when they are stimulated by air movements, which is why they can be so hard to kill. Why force the hero's eyes to be in the same place as nature put them? He could wear a nanotechnology fabric that sees and sends signals directly to the muscles (and/or the nanobots in the muscles). You could let the brain control the action by pre-approving a given scenario and allowing the nanotechnology to work independantly after that.
     
  11. Jul 11, 2011 #10
    Actually, I greatly do wish to stay as close to a scientific realism as possible. Perhaps this will help. I'm a psych major so I know I little about the biological aspects of the brain. We're looking at a complete overhaul of the primary visual cortices, including motor cortices. Wholly the V1-V5 areas. Covering the parietal lobes and temporal lobes up through the dorsal and ventral streams. Additionally the eyes and optical nerves. The eye's rod to cone quantity has been doubled and leveled. I took concept from a hawks vision and added two foveae to the human eye, like a tri-formation. I believe this would increases acute and peripheral vision. Not to mention a heightened ambidexterity and hand eye coordination.
     
  12. Jul 11, 2011 #11
    As far as the side effects on the bad end of things. I considered it and made that a large part of the story. In so many words the people responsible for making this technology have been refining it for years on multiple human subjects. Always resulting in dementia and/or schizophrenia. In order to make it useful they have always, with exception to the protagonist, removed the brains ability for individual identity to keep them from going insane. Now as far as the supply goes the nano-cells hit a boundary condition at which they are simply programmed to maintain cell structure. They can't affect what they haven't been specialized to in so many words.
     
  13. Jul 11, 2011 #12
    While I like that idea about the fabric. I'm attempting to establish a gritty western Eastwood-isk type feel for this book. Blended with sci-fiction. I've even gone as far to write in self destruct timers for bullets fired in space so they don't travel a 100 billion miles and hit who knows what. Sociologically speaking, the setting is a post war era where resources on Earth are drying up causing heaps of infighting between people and their governments. While the U.N. resource committee contracts a company (whose become extravagantly wealthy and's bought nearly all top tier scientific/engineering properties) to a Extraterrestrial Resource Utilization Program upon which they're charged with terraformation of and resource cultivation out in the universe "starting with Sol". This all of which happens while the protagonist is unconscious.
     
  14. Jul 11, 2011 #13
    Continuing, they make everything. Well, after a series of events all the technology left behind by the company has no one to attend to it. It decays along with structured society. I'm i firm believer in that when people are left with no option they will find a way to fend for themselves. That said they "a few" create a contractual law enforcement process. Much like bounty hunters but not just like. My protagonist becomes one of these.
     
  15. Jul 11, 2011 #14
    Tell me what would be necessary, within reason, to make a man so visually acute that they see in a framework of nanoseconds and react accordingly fast. Like the ultimate gunslinger if it were an old west type like Wild bill Hickcock or Doc Holiday, Wyatt Earp ect. Based on what I've given.
     
  16. Jul 11, 2011 #15
    Then I'll get into to the hallucination bit of it. Any Schopenhauer or Kant fan's will like this portion of the story.
     
  17. Jul 11, 2011 #16
    Last thing, to Mr. Borg. I like that cosmetic idea, so maybe you'll have something to add to this. The technology turns the protagonists eyes a pitch black, from the iris to sclera. Obviously many people would be frightened or tipped off by this. So he covers them "eventually" with sunglasses.
     
  18. Jul 11, 2011 #17

    Borg

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    If you want the eyes where they normally belong, then the comments from ryan and SA are more relevant to your story. Expecially if you're planning on the mental wiring issues that you've described. The idea that I threw out there was strictly designed to improve speed to the maximum possible.
     
  19. Jul 11, 2011 #18

    EWH

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    "Tell me what would be necessary, within reason, to make a man so visually acute that they see in a framework of nanoseconds and react accordingly fast. Like the ultimate gunslinger if it were an old west type like Wild bill Hickcock or Doc Holiday, Wyatt Earp ect. Based on what I've given."

    The main thing would be to make the neural conduction velocity be light speed rather than sound-speed (3e8m/s rather than ~30m/s), in both the CNS and peripheral nerves. The synaptic delays would be the next thing to handle. I'm not sure how well it would work to have "legacy" parts of the brain operating much slower. It might not work at all. Even with near-instantaneous reactions, movement is bound by physics. On the plus side, humans use their muscles much more gently than other animals, including hominids, so there is some headroom for additional force to make fast movements. Additional efferent muscle innervation might help, with blocks on excessive afferent pain signals that usually prevent high muscle forces in humans (this sort of temporary block is likely responsible for hysterical strength). A predominance of fast-twitch muscle and anaerobic metabolism with the other modifications could allow up to 10x faster movements for periods of a few seconds per minute. To make precision movements would require dialing down the efferent nerve signals, though.

    Human eyes are optically lousy. With good optics they can get down to 20/8, for more, the size of the rods and cones would have to be reduced - but with better processing and slight movements of the eye, perhaps 20/4 or better could be possible. With massively more sensors, making the rod/cone density equal to the fovea across the whole field of vision, rather than just 0.5 degree, the amount of visual data would be staggering, several thousand times what an ordinary human sees. It would theoretically be possible for each photoreceptor to respond to light from say 200nm (shorter waves would be difficult- not much is transparent at those wavelengths) to 1600 or 3200nm, (resolution falls off with longer waves, need bigger photoreceptors), so that's 3 or 4 octaves of light. (3 octaves from 300 to 2400nm would be a fairly conservative range) The receptors could also theoretically tell the wavelength and polarization of every photon, allowing the person to see the specrograph of everything in his field of vision, and thus its material and often its temperature, at least for very hot things. (He'd likely see the tail of the blackbody distribution at surprisingly low temperatures, given his spectral resolution, but the peak of the distribution would only come into view at several hundred degrees F). A slight increase in the size of the eye (up to about 1/3 bigger) wouldn't look too weird and would increase spatial resolution. Being able to distort the lenses more, and more precisely, being able to distort the shape of the eye itself, and perhaps having additional internal flexible, movable optics inside the eye would allow a zoom lens effect up to perhaps 2 or 3x. Having no iris and an exceptionally wide aperture would give a very thin focal region, and thus potentially a very precise perception of distance. Being able to refocus rapidly and doing so constantly and unconsciously would give an extraordinary 3-D situational awareness. When "going into overdrive" and effectively seeing thousands of "frames" per second, in ordinary indoor light, things will seem to go dim and grainy for him, as they do for us in very low light at ordinary perceptual speeds. On the other hand, a good deal of color vision should persist in any light.

    So to sum up, with the eye completely redesigned, perhaps 20/1 vision in the near UV to 20/8 vision in the mid-IR, covering the whole field of view (about 80000 times the area of the foveal solid angle), with the ability to see thousands of separate, independent colors and polarization, a 2 or 3x zoom, absolute distance perception accurate to about a millimeter at 1 meter to a few centimeters at 100m, on the order of 1e7times more information per "frame" and thus a trade-off in using processing power - even with a 1e7 faster visual cortex, ramping up to a faster "frame rate" will degrade the fineness of the processing and the amount of data that can be handled (thus relative tunnel vision). Also at high speeds, there just usually isn't enough light for smooth, bright vision, so he will have dimmer, lower-contrast, grainier vision at high speeds.

    You may find http://www.nanomedicine.com/NMI.htm" [Broken]by Robert Freitas a useful reference. An additional volume is available at the same site.

    Also see the free PDF http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=12896" [Broken] from the National Academies Press / Defense Intelligence Agency
     
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  20. Jul 11, 2011 #19

    Ryan_m_b

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    As someone in the field of nanomedicine I would advise against Freitas as anything but science fiction. Whilst some of his designs are complex and well thought out they are missing out on huge areas of thought (toxicity and immunology for one) and don't represent the field at all.

    cruggero it is going to be quite hard for you to keep this within the realms of science. You are talking about re-engineering the brain, that's an insanely complex task. It is conceivable that a signal could be transmitted from the eye to the muscle in nanoseconds using fibre optics. However the signal hasn't been processed in any way and getting a muscle to move so quickly and respond within nanoseconds is going to be impossible. Chemical reactions in the arm wouldn't be able to occur in that time frame. You would have to radically redesign the cellular and biochemical biology of the arm to make it react much faster, then you have problems of waste heat.

    There may be simpler ways of doing this. There have been some http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neuroscience_of_free_will" [Broken] that have shown that actions are initiated slightly before conscious thought. You could copy this idea somewhat and have the characters laced with fibre optics (with electrode interfaces to nerves). These fibres can network with things like optical chips in the eyes, ears etc. These chips could work to process sensory input far faster than the brain, if some intelligent agent in the chips determines the need to fire it could take control of the body. In this manner the character could just be walking along and suddenly find themselves diving through a shop window whilst drawing a gun and shooting two assailants that their biological brain hadn't even recognised yet. To keep the mental illness theme you could have it that these chips start making the character paranoid that he is not controlling his own actions.

    Whilst highly steeped in science fiction ideas like this are going to be easier to plausibly write over redesigning biology. Evolution hasn't created systems that can be easily modified, the technology to replace gross anatomy is fantastical and would lead to far greater changes in society.
     
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  21. Jul 11, 2011 #20
    sry check reply
     
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