FEYNMAN, RICHARD P. AUTOGRAPH MANUSCRIPT DRAFT FOR "PLENTY OF ROOM AT THE BOTTOM," CA 1959
20,000 - 30,000 USD
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- "Plenty of Room at Bottom," ca, 1959.
Autograph manuscript, 3 pp (8 1/2 x 11 in), in pencil on plain white paper, creases where previously folded, being a draft of his famous lecture "There's Plenty of Room at the Bottom: An Invitation to Enter a New Field of Physics," originally given at the annual American Physical Society at Caltech on December 29, 1959. This draft was apparently prepared for a version of the talk given at El Camino College, in Torrance, Ca.
see Philip Ball, "Feynman's Fancy" In: Chemistry World, January 2009, pp 58-62
THE BIRTH OF NANOTECHNOLOGY. In his famed address, Feynman imagined "that we could arrange atoms one by one, just as we want them," and in this spirit he posed two challenges that would lead to the development of the field of Nanotechnology, offering $1,000 dollars each to whomever could 1) construct a tiny motor (achieved much to Feynman's surprise by Caltech grad William McClellan in 1960), and 2) to whomever could fit the entire Encyclopedia Brittanica on the head of a pin. The second challenge was met in 1985 by Tom Newman, a graduate of Stanford University. From the published transcript of the talk given at the annual meeting of the American Physical Society, given December 29, 1959 at Caltech: "I would like to describe a field, in which little has been done, but in which an enormous amount can be done in principle...What I want to talk about is the problem of manipulating and controlling things on a small scale.... They tell me about electric motors that are the size of the nail on your small finger. And there is a device on the market, they tell me, by which you can write the Lord's Prayer on the head of a pin... It is a staggeringly small world that is below. In the year 2000, when they look back at this age, they will wonder why it was not until the year 1960 that anybody began to move seriously in this direction..."