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"I'm strictly an ivory-tower person. I can explain things but I can't do things."
- Isaac Asimov

Fractal Knife  
  The blade uses a fractal geometry to increase its cutting surface.  

This knife appears only once; is there really such a thing yet?

She's got her hand on a little folding-knife, something else she's borrowed from Skinner. It has a hole in the blade that you can press the tip of your thumb into and snap it open, one-handed. That blade's under three inches, broad as a soup-spoon, wickedly serrated and ceramic. Skinner says it's a fractal knife, its actual edge more than twice as long as the blade itself.
From Virtual Light, by William Gibson.
Published by Bantam in 1993
Additional resources -

The essential idea of fractal geometries is that, when you examine a real object more closely, you find greater degrees of detail (as opposed to the surface of a perfect Euclidean sphere, which has no surface details). The classic example is a coastline. If you look at it from space, you could measure along the contours, and get a certain number for the length of the coastline. Come closer, and you discover little coves or peninsulas; measure now, and the "length" of the coastline is longer. Come closer still, and measure each little in and out portion of every beach, and the coastline is longer still.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Virtual Light
  More Ideas and Technology by William Gibson
  Tech news articles related to Virtual Light
  Tech news articles related to works by William Gibson

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