In 1959 Nobel Laureate Richard Feynman gave a now-famous prescient talk at APS entitled “There’s Plenty of Room at the Bottom” describing the potentials and opportunities in nanotechnology and nanoscale research. There are several transcripts and websites dedicated to that talk, which did not itself advance the field, though it did inspire some others (Feynman offered two $1000 prizes for miniaturizing text and creating a tiny motor). Much later many scholars of nanotechnology “rediscovered” and acknowledged the speech. I was recently made aware of a YouTube recording of “Tiny Machines” recapitulating and updating that speech that Feynman made 25 years later in 1984, barefoot at Esalen Institute, Big Sur, CA. Included in the 1 hour 20 minute talk are several minor and human mathematical errors, a description of the photolithographic process for making integrated circuits, and a lot of Feynman charm.
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