“I would like to describe a field, in which little has been done, but in which an enormous amount can be done in principle. This field is not quite the same as the others in that it will not tell us much of fundamental physics but it is more like solid-state physics in the sense that it might tell us much of great interest about the strange phenomena that occur in complex situations. Furthermore, a point that is most important is that it would have an enormous number of technical applications. What I want to talk about is the problem of manipulating and controlling things on a small scale.” It is with these words that R. P. Feynman, on the 29 December 1959, at the annual meeting of the American Physical Society, introduced for the first time the concept of nanotechnology (the word “nano” dates back to the ancient Greece, with nano (= νανoζ) indicating something of small dimensions). Since Feynman’s speech, this intriguing discipline has achieved incredible goals going even beyond Feynman’s expectations. For example, the 24 million volumes mentioned by Feynman in his “There’s Plenty of Room at the Bottom” would fit in about 30 Tbyte hard drive, which has dimensions much lower than the 3 square yards initially estimated by Feynman.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- General Chemistry
- General Engineering
- General Materials Science
- General Physics and Astronomy