If you pay attention to science, or more commonly science fiction then you are likely to hear the concept of nanotechnology mentioned on occasion and there is good reason that these are talked about a lot. The possibilities of nanotechnology is staggering, but before you can understand the possibilities that nanotechnology offers you have to understand what nanotechnology is and what that means.
Nanotechnology by definition is technology built in nanometers. A nanometer is one billionth of a meter which means technology approaching the size of atoms. In order to create this technology you not only need to use a considerable amount of advance technology including lasers to move the mater, but you generally have to slow it to near absolute zero in order to be able to manipulate it. This is a great deal of work, and the nanotechnology that exists as of now is still very basic. Scientists have been able to begin to create some interesting technology but in general it is just the beginning.
The first thing you have to understand in order to recognize the possibilities of nanotechnology is to recognize that one of the major limiting factors to the increasing speed of computers is the speed of light. Since it is not realistic to assume anyone is going to increase the speed of light the better option is to make things smaller so it has less distance to go.
This is actually thinking small when it comes to nanotechnology though because this simply improves on the existing technology but nanotechnology offers some more interesting possibilities, as well as a bit more scary. The first of these is that nanotechnology is small enough to enter into the cells of a person's body. This could have huge effects on medical technology and perhaps even more. Imagine technology which could enter cancer cells, alter DNA, repair damaged arteries or more.
Perhaps the most impressive possibilities come in the possibilities of creating nanotechnology which could actually copy or control itself. This could mean machines that could literally rearrange and repair themselves or even make copies of themselves and grow.
Nanotechnology is simply small technology but the implications of what the ability to manipulate matter at the atomic level is almost unending as it gives us the possibility of improving the technology, it could also let us change the entire world, creating new matter, or even changing ourselves in a great many ways.