Engineer, novelist, and journalist, Wil McCarthy is a former contributing editor for WIRED magazine and the science columnist for the SciFi channel. Wil is a lifetime member of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America and has been nominated for several awards. Previously, he was one of those "guidance is go" people for Lockheed Martin Space Launch Systems and later an engineering manager for Omni-tech Robotics.
Wil is currently the Chief Technology Officer for Galileo Shipyards, an aerospace research corporation with projects ranging from rockets to high-altitude balloons to quantum nanoelectronics. His nonfiction bestseller, HACKING MATTER, describes the ongoing research by major corporations and university laboratories into quantum-dot based "programmable matter", promising enormous changes in both technology and society.
Engineer, novelist, and journalist Wil McCarthy discussed microscopic devices known as "quantum dots" which can act as programmable matter. The technology works by herding electrons into artificial patterns that form new atomic structures, he explained. This opens the door for an enormous number of possible applications where "matter becomes more like software," McCarthy stated. Materials could be changed to make our lives safer and more comfortable, he continued. Citing automobiles as an example, he suggested they could turn soft and spring back during a collision. Soldiers in quantum dot-enabled battle gear might not even resemble a human being, moving in a lightweight shell that could deflect away attacks, detailed McCarthy. The medical field is another promising arena for this technology, he added. ... More »Host: George Noory
An aerospace engineer, sci-fi novelist and science columnist, Wil McCarthy (wilmccarthy.com) was Art's main guest on Friday night. He discussed forthcoming technologies involving "programmable matter," which could take the form of "quantum dots," which are similar to transistors but much smaller. These "artificial atoms," have the ability to transform our world by changing the composition objects are made of. "Malicious hackers may have the ability to reprogram the material around us in a way that does not suit our purposes. They could for example imbed sensors in your wall that you didn't know were there and spy on you. Or they could turn your walls transparent so that you didn't have any privacyâ€¦They could even potentially collapse buildings," McCarthy said, outlining the potential downside of the technology. But "the real promise is magic," McCarthy said. We could have "programmable houses," with "windows that move across the wall to track the sun," and ceilings that cou ... More »Host: Art Bell