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Hacking Matter is a 2003 book by Wil McCarthy. It deals with "programmable matter" (like colloidal films, bulk crystals, and quantum dots) that can mimic the properties of any natural atom. McCarthy predicts that programmable matter will someday change our lives as much as any invention ever has. He predicts that we will have the ability to program matter itself - to change it, with the click of a cursor, from hard to soft, from paper to stone, from fluorescent to super-reflective to invisible. This technology is called Wellstone.
Wil McCarthy visits the laboratories of major companies and talks with the researchers who are developing this extraordinary technology; describes how they are learning to control its electronic, optical, thermal, magnetic, and mechanical properties; and tells us where all this will lead.
- ISBN 0-465-04428-X, Hacking Matter: Levitating Chairs, Quantum Mirages, and the Infinite Weirdness of Programmable Atoms, Basic Books, 2003
- Book home page, includes free PDF version.
- Ultimate Alchemy. This article in Wired 9.10 was expanded into this book.
- "Beyond the Periodic Table: Artificial Atoms and Programmable Matter", Analog Science Fiction, Jan 2002