There’s Plenty of Room at the Bottom An Invitation to Enter a New Field of Physics - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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There’s Plenty of Room at the Bottom An Invitation to Enter a New Field of Physics

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  1. There’s Plenty of Room at the BottomAn Invitation to Enter a New Field of Physics Richard Feynman 1959

  2. Outline • Introduction • How do we write small? • Information on a small scale • Better electron microscopes • The marvelous biological system • Miniaturizing the computer • Miniaturization by evaporation • Problems of lubrication • 100 tiny hands • Rearranging the atoms • Atoms in a small world • Feynman Prizes

  3. Introduction In 1959, Feynman observed: • Nobody studied applied physics of the very small • No theoretical knowledge seemed likely to result. • Practical applications seemed enormous.

  4. Introduction … “Why cannot we write the entire 24 volumes of the Encyclopedia Brittanica on the head of a pin?” • A pin’s diameter = 1/16 inch. • Magnify by 25,000: • 25,000 / 16 = 130.2 feet. • It’s area = 13,314 square feet • This is enough to fit the Brittanica. • It thus suffices to shrink it to 1/25,000. • At that scale, 1 half-tone dot = 32*32 atoms. • This is big enough to work.

  5. Introduction … Such a miniaturization is readable. • Make a temporary copy of mold • Press the pin’s head into plastic; peel off plastic; • Construct a copy of mold • Evaporate silica into the plastic • Evaporate gold at an angle (only raised parts coated); • Dissolve plastic, leaving only silica & gold. • Read the copy • Look thru this “cloth” with an electron microscope. Original mold (pin) is reusable.

  6. Gold deposition Angle of deposition 1. 2.

  7. Outline • Introduction • How do we write small? • Information on a small scale • Better electron microscopes • The marvelous biological system • Miniaturizing the computer • Miniaturization by evaporation • Problems of lubrication • 100 tiny hands • Rearranging the atoms • Atoms in a small world • Feynman Prizes

  8. How do we write small? Use lenses in reverse: • Pass light thru focusing on a small spot. • Focused light is intense. Use material that can be etched by this focused energy.

  9. How do we write small? … • Entire LOC fits in area of a 35-page magazine. •  there is room at the bottom. • Feynman then demonstrates: • There is plenty of room at the bottom. • Using physics known in 1959(!).

  10. Outline • Introduction • How do we write small? • Information on a small scale • Better electron microscopes • The marvelous biological system • Miniaturizing the computer • Miniaturization by evaporation • Problems of lubrication • 100 tiny hands • Rearranging the atoms • Atoms in a small world • Feynman Prizes

  11. Information on a small scale • Encode information as bits: 1 char = 7 bits. • Using volumes instead of surfaces • 5 X 5 X 5 = 125 atoms of 1 metal for 1 • 125 atoms of another metal for 0 • The Brittanica = 1015 bits • All of mankind’s books fit in 1/200 inch cubed. • (Reading inside the cube is not discussed.) • Nature uses approximately 50 atoms/bit in DNA.

  12. Outline • Introduction • How do we write small? • Information on a small scale • Better electron microscopes • The marvelous biological system • Miniaturizing the computer • Miniaturization by evaporation • Problems of lubrication • 100 tiny hands • Rearranging the atoms • Atoms in a small world • Feynman Prizes

  13. Better electron microscopes • A 100-fold improvement in electron microscopy goes a long way. • It is possible: • 1959 microscopes resolve to 10 angstroms. • Wave length of electron is 1/20 angstrom • 100-fold improvement thus is possible. (been done?) • Applications to scientific problems: • See DNA, RNA, the cell at work. • See chemical reactions at work. • Is there a physical way to synthesize chemicals?

  14. Outline • Introduction • How do we write small? • Information on a small scale • Better electron microscopes • The marvelous biological system • Miniaturizing the computer • Miniaturization by evaporation • Problems of lubrication • 100 tiny hands • Rearranging the atoms • Atoms in a small world • Feynman Prizes

  15. The marvelous biological system • Cells don’t just write information, they are active. • Replicating parts (e.g., proteins) • Replicating themselves (mitosis) • Replicating an entire organism. • Some cells move; all have moving parts. • Can we make small: • Computers • Other maneuverable devices?

  16. Outline • Introduction • How do we write small? • Information on a small scale • Better electron microscopes • The marvelous biological system • Miniaturizing the computer • Miniaturization by evaporation • Problems of lubrication • 100 tiny hands • Rearranging the atoms • Atoms in a small world • Feynman Prizes

  17. Miniaturizing the computer • Make wires 10 – 100 atoms in diameter. (In 1959, computers filled entire rooms.) • Feynman speculates: 106 bigger computers could perform qualitatively harder tasks. • E.g., face recognition, at which the brain excels (occupies an enormous % of the human brain).

  18. Miniaturizing the computer … • Brain’s microscopic elements >> computers. • What if we made sub-microscopic elements? • Feynman: faster computers ultimately must have smaller elements (Speed of light lower bound on latency)

  19. Outline • Introduction • How do we write small? • Information on a small scale • Better electron microscopes • The marvelous biological system • Miniaturizing the computer • Miniaturization by evaporation • Problems of lubrication • 100 tiny hands • Rearranging the atoms • Atoms in a small world • Feynman Prizes

  20. Miniaturization by evaporation • Make small elements using evaporation: • Evaporate: • a metal layer; • an insulation layer; • repeat until have all the elements you want. • ICs, “invented” much later, (still!) made this way.

  21. Miniaturization by evaporation … • Make small machines (not just computers) using small tools? • What are the problems? • Resolution of the material. • A flywheel of diameter 10 atoms won’t be round. • Weight/inertia do not dominate at smaller scale. • Electrical parts (e.g., magnetic fields) must be redesigned (but can be done).

  22. Outline • Introduction • How do we write small? • Information on a small scale • Better electron microscopes • The marvelous biological system • Miniaturizing the computer • Miniaturization by evaporation • Problems of lubrication • 100 tiny hands • Rearranging the atoms • Atoms in a small world • Feynman Prizes

  23. Problems of lubrication • Heat dissipates rapidly at that scale. • Don’t lubricate! • Feynman’s friend, Hibbs: nanoscale machines as medical agents, running around inside our bodies. • How to make small things: • With existing tools, make smaller tools. • With smaller tools, make yet smaller tools. • Iterate. • What about needed increases in precision?

  24. Problems of lubrication … • Increasing precision: an example. • Make smaller flat surfaces. • Take 3 such smaller surfaces. Rub them together until they are flat enough at that scale. • At each level, perform precision-improving actions, at that scale. • Use simultaneousreplication to increase manufacturing efficiency.

  25. Outline • Introduction • How do we write small? • Information on a small scale • Better electron microscopes • The marvelous biological system • Miniaturizing the computer • Miniaturization by evaporation • Problems of lubrication • 100 tiny hands • Rearranging the atoms • Atoms in a small world • Feynman Prizes

  26. 100 tiny hands • Fractal branching ultra-dexterous robots (Bush robots) H. Moravec, J. Easudes, and F. Dellaert NASA Advanced Concepts Research Project, December, 1996. Each level is a hand. The tip of each finger has a Smaller hand. We get an exponential number of small fingers

  27. 100 tiny hands … • Feynamn notes, at this scale: • Gravity is almost imperceptible compared to Van der Waals molecular attraction. • Van der Waals attractions make things at this scale attract (stick). • Designs must take account for these forces.

  28. Outline • Introduction • How do we write small? • Information on a small scale • Better electron microscopes • The marvelous biological system • Miniaturizing the computer • Miniaturization by evaporation • Problems of lubrication • 100 tiny hands • Rearranging the atoms • Atoms in a small world • Feynman Prizes

  29. Rearranging the atoms • Constructing materials atom by atom gives “materials science” enormously more potential. • E.g., make arrays of tiny circuits that emit light at the same wavelength in the same direction. (This is being done now in laboratories.) • Resistance problems increase at that scale. Suggests using superconductivity, as 1 approach.

  30. Outline • Introduction • How do we write small? • Information on a small scale • Better electron microscopes • The marvelous biological system • Miniaturizing the computer • Miniaturization by evaporation • Problems of lubrication • 100 tiny hands • Rearranging the atoms • Atoms in a small world • Feynman Prizes

  31. Atoms in a small world • Atoms on a small scale satisfy laws of quantum mechanics. • Nothing acts like this at a large scale. • We can exploit: • quantized energy levels • Interactions of quantized spins, etc. • Manufacturing perfection: • If resolution is less than 1 atom, then each copy is exact, atom for atom.

  32. Atoms in a small world … • Replace chemistry with physical manufacture. • Proposed a competition: Who can build the smallest motor, for example.

  33. Outline • Introduction • How do we write small? • Information on a small scale • Better electron microscopes • The marvelous biological system • Miniaturizing the computer • Miniaturization by evaporation • Problems of lubrication • 100 tiny hands • Rearranging the atoms • Atoms in a small world • Feynman Prizes

  34. Feynman Prizes • Information on the Feynman Prizes: http://www.foresight.org/FI/fi_spons.html 1998 Feynman Prize in Nanotechnology, Theory • Ralph Merkle (Xerox PARC) • Stephen Walch (ELORET at NASA Ames) For computational model of molecular tools for atomically-precise chemical reactions.