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Feynman Nano - they walk around they wiggle and they do all...

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In 1959 Richard Feynman delivered what many consider the first lecture on nanotechnology. This lecture, presented to the American Physical Society at the California Institute of Technology, prompted intense discussion about the possibilities, or impossibilities, of manipulating materials at the molecular level. Although at the time of his presentation, the manipulation of single molecules and single atoms seemed improbable, if not impossible, Feynman challenged his audience to consider a new field of physics, one in which individual molecules and atoms would be manipulated and controlled at the molecular level ( Feynman 1960 ). As an example of highly successful machines at the “small scale,” Feynman prompted his audience to consider the inherent properties of biological cells. He colorfully noted that although cells are “very tiny,” they are “very active, they manufacture various s
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Unformatted text preview: they walk around, they wiggle, and they do all kinds of wonderful things on a very small scale” ( Feynman 1960 ). Of course, many of these “wonderful things” that he was referring to are a result of the activities of proteins and protein complexes within each cell. The field of nanotechnology has indeed emerged and blossomed since Feynman's 1959 lecture, and scientists from many disciplines are now taking a careful look at the protein “machines” that power biological cells ( Drexler 1986 ). These “machines” are inherently nanoscale, ranging in width from a few nanometers (nm) to over 20 nm, and have been carefully refined by millions of years of evolution. Toward the end of Richard Feynman's 1959 lecture, he quipped, “What are the possibilities of small but movable machines? They may or may not be useful, but they surely would be fun to make.”...
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