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May 23rd, 2005

Re-reading Feynman - Part 3

Richard Jones: As I discussed in part 1 of this series, Richard Feynman’s lecture “There’s plenty of room at the bottom” is universally regarded as a foundational document for nanotechnology. As people argue about what nanotechnology is and might become, and different groups claim Feynman’s posthumous support for their particular vision, it’s worth looking closely at what the lecture actually said. In part 2 of this series, I looked at the first half of Feynman’s lecture, dealing with writing information on a very small scale, microscopy with better than atomic resolution, and the miniaturisation of computers. In the second part of the lecture, Feynman moved on to discuss the possibilities, first, of making ultra-small machines and ultimately of arranging matter on an atomic level.

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