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Hacking Matter: Levitating Chairs, Quantum Mirages, and the Infinite Weirdness of Programmable Atoms.

WIL MCCARTHY

Imagine that with a flick of a switch, a wall becomes a window, a soft cushion becomes hard, or your sweater changes color. Imagine making such changes in almost any type of material on a whim. Today, scientists are developing quantum dots--microscopic devices capable of acting like programmable atoms--to try make that possible. Theoretically, quantum dots can be configured to replicate the properties of any known atom and can then be changed--as fast as an electronic signal can travel--to have the properties of a different atom. McCarthy details the physics behind quantum dots and surveys their myriad potential applications that could change life in the 22nd century. Basic, 2003, 222 p., b&w illus., hard-cover, $26.00.
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Publication:Science News
Article Type:Book Review
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Mar 15, 2003
Words:119
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