"If I had to get a new Ph.D. now, I'd get it in polymer engineering - the manipulation of matter."
Compare to the use of hunting robe from Clifford Simak's remarkable 1961 novel Time is the Simplest Thing. I'd also mention the necap from Alan Dean Foster's 2010 novel The Human Blend, the tangler from Logan's Run (1967) by Nolan and Johnson and the tanglefoot field from Robert Heinlein's 1954 novel The Star Beast.
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