Here is an interesting article, titled “Trillionth Floor Please“, where the author discusses a new method of working with carbon nanotubes discovered by chemistry professor Fotios Papadimitrakopoulos and can use them, theoretically, to build a Space Elevator. From the article:
The problem, says Papadimitrakopoulos (he tells people to call him “Papadim”), is that nanotubes have different properties. That’s important because nanotubes bearing the same qualities can interlock with one another. But until now, no one had figured out a way to identify and separate nanotubes according to their properties.
After working on this problem for seven years, Papadimitrakopoulos and his team had a eureka! moment: Molecules from Vitamin B2 can attach themselves to nanotubes in such a way that could distinguish different types of nanotubes. With a way to identify nanotubes, researchers can group them together according to their types.
This may work out – I hope it does, but I do have to take exception to the title of the article. A trillion floors works out to an elevator that is over two billion miles long (2,272,727,273 miles to be exact) if one assumes a uniform floor height of 12 feet. A sixty-thousand mile high elevator would have between twenty-six million and twenty-seven million (26,400,000 to be exact) floors, again assuming a uniform floor height of 12 feet.
If I told him once, I told him a TRILLION times; “Don’t exaggerate”… 🙂