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Topic: Information content in materials processing  (Read 3992 times)

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Offline NickyB

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Information content in materials processing
« on: March 26, 2008, 01:52:30 PM »
Good afternoon,

I’ve ground to a halt on a final year project I’ve been set; any thoughts on the matter would be appreciated! This isn't perhaps obvious chemistry at first but I've a nagging feeling chemistry might be important.

The background is the idea that in the area of problem resolution/ material processing, biology creates solutions by the manipulation of information, whereas engineers tend to create solutions by manipulation of energy.

An obvious example could be a spider creating its silk at ambient temperatures and pressures with the raw materials of dead flies, whereas our own best approximation, Kevlar fibres, are made with petroleum based raw materials and the process takes place at elevated temperatures, pressures, and in the presence of some rather nasty chemicals, in other words, we throw lots of energy at it.

Not only is the engineering approach far less efficient, it is ultimately unsustainable.

So the task is to measure and compare the amount of ‘information’ involved in biological and traditional engineering approaches to materials processing.

It’s interesting but arcane, and nothing like anything I’ve come across before. Any thoughts? I think whatever area it's then used in (materials science or biology) the really important bit is getting a grip with this idea of measuring information. Thanks in advance for your time.

Nick

Offline Alpha-Omega

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Re: Information content in materials processing
« Reply #1 on: March 27, 2008, 01:10:12 AM »
I think you are making a comparison between biotechnology ("Any technological application that uses biological systems, living organisms, or derivatives thereof, to make or modify products or processes for specific use.")
to and traditional engineering

Link:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biotechnology

Then to really free your mind, take a look at this:

http://www.answers.com/topic/biomedical-engineering-engineering?cat=health

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