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Posted: February 9, 2007
Drexler's controversial nanotechnology text as free e-book
(Nanowerk News) In his landmark 1986 book, "Engines of Creation: The Coming Era of Nanotechnology" K. Eric Drexler envisioned a world utterly transformed by molecular assemblers – devices capable of positioning atoms and molecules for precisely defined reactions in almost any environment. They would be able to build anything with absolute precision and no pollution. They would confer something approaching immortality. They would enable the colonization of the solar system.
In addition to an updated "look and feel" for the ebook (including the full page ads), Engines of Creation 2.0 has been expanded among other things to include the landmark open letter debate between Dr. Drexler and the late nanotechnology pioneer and Nobel laureate Dr. Richard Smalley.
Like Drexler, Smalley believed the potential of nanotechnology to benefit humanity is almost limitless. But Smalley had a dramatically different conception of nanotechnology from Drexler, one that doesn't include the concept of molecular assemblers. Smalley didn't think molecular assemblers as envisioned by Drexler are physically possible.
Read their famous 2003 debate and draw your own conclusions.