Unbounding the Future: The Nanotechnology Revolution. K. Eric Drexler, Chris Peterson, Gayle Pergamit. William Morrow & Company.

Unbounding the Future: The Nanotechnology Revolution Book Cover Unbounding the Future: The Nanotechnology Revolution
K. Eric Drexler, Chris Peterson, Gayle Pergamit
William Morrow & Company

Fortune magazine chose nanotechnology as one of the fields where future fortunes will be made. John Naisbitt and Patricia Aburdene in Megatrends 2000 proclaimed nanotechnology one of the hot research areas to keep an eye on in the years to come. Japanese conglomerates are in a race to develop the abilities that will make nanotechnology a reality. In short, nanotechnology is one of the hottest scientific concepts around, and Unbounding the Future is the comprehensive, easy-to-understand handbook that explains what it is and how it will revolutionize life in the future.

K. Erik Drexler, M.I.T. graduate, Visiting Scholar at Stanford, and the world’s leading expert on nanotechnology, explains that while we’re right on track for making this science a reality, it involves a fundamental change in how we approach matter. Instead of looking at it from the top down, as we do now (mountains become rubble, rubble becomes iron, iron become steel, and steel is used for cars, for instance), nanotechnology will work with matter from the bottom up (manipulating matter at the molecular level). If advances occur on schedule, we will be able to create machines so small that they will have to be measured in nanometers (billionths of a meter). Drexler explains that these machines could be specially programmed to carry out specific tasks and give us the ability to manipulate matter with atom by atom precision. The consequences of this technology will be staggering.

Unbounding the Future provides a guided tour of a future where the principles of nanotechnology have been applied. In this world, Drexler envisions the ability to cure diseases such as cancer and AIDS with medical treatments using millions of molecular machines specifically programmed to repair diseased cells. Nanotechnology would enable us to clean up toxic waste using molecular machines that would render harmless an array of harmful pollutants. And K. Eric Drexler explains how molecular manufacturing will produce products superior to those of today while using a fraction of the labor and producing no pollution. What is the timetable for these astonishing capabilities? Drexler is confident they can be attained within our lifetime.

Whether we are ready for it or not, scientists are at the edge of an era that will make nanotechnology a reality and revolutionize life as we know it today. Unbounding the Future is the only book that offers this glimpse into the future – a glimpse so compelling and exciting that it will change not only the way you think about the future but also the way you view the present.

K. Eric Drexler is a Visiting Scholar at Stanford University and received degrees in science and engineering from M.I.T. Chris Peterson and Gail Pergamit have written on science in the past. They both assisted Drexler on Engines of Creation, the only other book on this subject. Drexler and Peterson are directors of the Foresight Institute, based in Palo Alto, California.