Imagine how the world would change if we could control matter at the level of the atom. There would be no end to what we could create: blindingly fast quantum computers far smaller than human cells; full medical-diagnostic laboratories on the single microchip; paper-thin skis and unscratchable kitchen counters; even armour so tough that nothing could get through it.
It sounds like science fiction, but some of these innovations are on the drawing board, and one – the medical laboratory on a microchip – is on the brink of mass production. The innovations in computer technology over the past quarter century are insignificant compared to the world-shaking changes that nanotechnology will bring to human civilization.
Nanocosm is more than a tale of fantastic discovery – it’s also an engrossing, good-humoured guide to a new technology that will profoundly affect every aspect of our lives. Augmented by interviews with the CEOs, engineers, and scientists all over the world who are making nanotechnology a reality, author William Illsey Atkinson explains how and why the very, very small will soon be making a very big difference in the way we do business and the way we live.
Vancouver-based William Illsey Atkinson is a critically acclaimed science and technology writer and a frequent contributor to The Globe and Mail. As media officer for the National Research Council, Atkinson brought to light some of Canada’s biggest science stories: the space shuttle’s Canadarm, the Varennes fusion reactor, and the first synthetic human insulin gene. His previous book, Prototype: How Canadian Innovation Is Shaping the Future, was shortlisted for the National Business Book Award.