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October 30th, 2003
From Nanotech to Zettatech
In a paper for the Royal Society's Working Group on Nanotechnology, Eric Drexler discusses the confusion surrounding the word 'nanotechnology' and suggests a clarifying addition to terminology in the field. What is meant by "nanotechnology"? Confusion around divergent uses of this term have spawned much of the confusion around the subject. The term was used by an author in Japan in the early 1970s to describe, among other things, precision glass polishing. It came into wide use and gained an aura of excitement after 1986, when I used it to label the Feynman vision of nanomachines building products with atomic precision.
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