Paradigm Shift: When one conceptual world-view is replaced by another, or, a change of patterns on a massive scale. When Copernicus showed how the Earth rotates around the Sun, and not vice versa, that created a paradigm shift [it forced a new way of thinking about our place in the Universe]. And when quantum physics and general relativity displaced Newtonian mechanics, that created another shift. Applied to an enabling technology such as molecular manufacturing, it suggests that there will be many shifts occurring, soon, and with wide-ranging and often disruptive consequences. For more detail, see Accelerating Intelligence: Where Will Technology Lead Us? [by Ray Kurzweil].

Pervasive Computing: when computers (and sensors and actuators) become virtually invisible, and are used in almost every aspect of human commerce, interaction, and life. It will allow you full control over data and information, enabling you to send, receive, manage, and update your data from anywhere at any time. It will also allow you full control over your environment, in so far as you will be able to speak or gesture commands, effecting changes to things around you. Applications include: environmental monitoring - when you enter a room, they sense your presence and adjust temperature and humidity to your personal preferences; building security - to sense chemical weapons and perform face recognition; information transfer - allowing you to send and receive calls, data, and images from anywhere to anywhere, without the need of bulky equipment. Also called "Ubiquitous Computing", "Intelligent Telesensing", "Proactive Computing", "Distributed Information Management Systems", "The Evernet", and "Calm Technology". "...it will look like nothing to the naked eye. ...beneath the surface, tiny computing networks will be doing exactly what we want them to do - working behind the scenes to help us see clearer, travel safer, and place more knowledge, rather than frustration, into our heads." [Howard Lovy, editor at Small Times Media]

Pico Technology: (trillionth of a meter) -- the next step smaller, after Nano-technology. The art of manipulating materials on a quantum scale. [CA-B]

POSS Nanotechnology: short for Polyhedral Oligomeric Silsesquioxanes Nanotechnology. POSS nanomaterials are attractive for missile and satellite launch rocket applications because they offer effective protection from collisions with space debris and the extreme thermal environments of deep space and atmospheric re-entry. Another application of POSS nanotechnology under development is a new high-temperature lubricant. This new nanolubricant is effective at temperatures up to 500°F, which is 100°F greater than conventional lubricants. From Technologies developed by the Propulsion Directorate's Polymer Working Group at Edwards AFB

Polysilicon: short for Polycrystalline Silicon, used in the manufacture of computer chips.

Posthuman: Persons of unprecedented physical, intellectual, and psychological capacity, self-programming, self-constituting, potentially immortal, unlimited individuals. [Max More]

Positional Controlled Chemical Synthesis or Positional Synthesis: Control of chemical reactions by precisely positioning the reactive molecules, the basic principle of assemblers. [NTN]

Positional Assembly: Constructing materials an atom or molecule at a time

Protein Design, Protein Engineering: The design and construction of new proteins; an enabling technology for nanotechnology. [FS]

Protein Folding: "The process by which proteins acquire their functional, preordained, three-dimensional structure after they emerge, as linear polymers of amino acids, from the ribosome." [The Scientist]

Proteomics: The term proteome refers to all the proteins expressed by a genome, and thus proteomics involves the identification of proteins in the body and the determination of their role in physiological and pathophysiological functions. ... Ultimately it is believed that through proteomics new disease markers and drug targets can be identified that will help design products to prevent, diagnose and treat disease. [e-proteomics.net]