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Nanotechnology 1205 - 02
September 30, 2016
“There’s Plenty of Room at the Bottom”
By: Richard Feynman
This article is focused on the lecture given by Richard Feynman in the California Institute of Technology. This lecture was part of the annual meeting of the American Physical Society which took place on December 29th 1959. Mr. Feynman starts of by describing an idea in which there’s is a field that has not been tampered with, but has many possibilities, it’s not the identical to others in the sense that it will give solid-state physics but not fundamental physics.
Richard Feynman really was trying to get at “What I want to talk about is the problem of manipulating and controlling things on a small scale.” He talked about the possibility of why not putting the entire volumes of encyclopedia in the head of a small pin. Estimating that the reduction of the writing would have to be by 25,000 times. With that he didn’t mean just small he meant mega small, so small that it would be hard for the eye to see. Every little thing would have to be adjusted diameter, length, all to fit into the size of one sixteenth of an inch of that pin. Feynman believed it could be accomplished with the photoelectric effect. He explained that you would start off by using a telescope to aim light at a metal resulting in the etching of the electrons out of the metal. Richard Feynman’s method to reading the words in the pinhead is almost the same as the method used today in things such as movies and phones. He suggested thin film coating as well as photolithography as some of the methods that could be used to read such small writing in the pin of the head.
The next step was for Feynman to explain how all that writing would be stored. With such a small device such as the pinhead would all that information really fit. He proved and showed that by explaining that you had to have a coding system. That coding system used an atomic cube which had five atoms per side, his idea was that one hundred and twenty-five atoms would be required to contain the data. Feynman further more uses more examples for his theory such as the example of DNA molecules. With how small in size they are, yet they hold such a tremendous amount of coding and information about the growth of an organism, which is us as human beings. Feynman continued with other examples of how we could use small scale designs like that. Some of them being automobiles, machinery, computing and others that could have the same applications, he also talks about microchips could soon help control manufacturing. All that would lead a path way to Feynman being created to giving the ideas with his books and speeches.