Hacking matter

I've been reading Wil ~McCarthy's book Hacking Matter, which is a popularized version of the serious study of quantum dots and the ability to build pseudomatter using artificial atoms. How can one not like a book, which contains wonderful sentences such as this one:

Now we can create not only a thin film of goldlike pseudomatter, but a three-dimensional solid with pseudogold dopant atoms on the inside as well. Thus, we can generate a bulk material with the mass of wickered silicon, but the physical, chemical, and electrical properties of an otherwise-impossible gold/silicon alloy.

I mean - even the minuscule thought of it is breathtaking! The wonders of the universe! How could one not love this world, when so many incredible things are about? This could, and would change the face of the world as we know it. You just flick a switch, and you can make a part of the wall transparent - or a light source - or a TV screen - or gold. Whatever pleases you.

As an aside, I also found another very interesting paragraph (among thousands, but this one has an ominous look):

At his insistence, we filed an application with the United States Patent and Trademark Office, and within a few weeks we'd been contacted by the U.S. Air Force about the possibility of maybe licensing it.

Note that even in the US, patents are generally considered secret and proprietary, until a year of the filing date has passed. This is so that the application can be amended, fixed, and just being kept secret from the competitors, who might find a way to redesign around the actual implementation (ideas are not patentable as such). Obviously, the military is ignoring all that and have their own informants within the US patent process... Somehow, that does not surprise me at all.


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"Main_blogentry_240604_2" last changed on 24-Jun-2004 13:38:13 EEST by JanneJalkanen.

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