Nanotechnology is so new that forecasts are scarce, and those that are available often lack confidence. It is often regarded as having the potential to be a disruptive technology—one that is so much better, faster, and cheaper than current technology that it makes a fundamental change in the way many kinds of work are done. Predictions about such technologies are often ill-informed, as was the famous statement by the chairman of IBM in 1943 that the world would need only about five computers. Some industry observers believe that nanotechnology suffers from the reverse problem: wildly inflated projections.

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