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Back in the late twentieth century, most teaching used dry words and simple pictures, but nowfor a topic like thisit's easier to explore a simulated world.And so you decide to explore a simulation of the molecular world.The atomic force microscope was invented six years after the STM was invented.In 2000, the United States National Nanotechnology Initiative was founded to coordinate Federal nanotechnology research and development.Nanotechnology is very diverse, ranging from extensions of conventional device physics to completely new approaches based upon molecular self-assembly, from developing new materials with dimensions on the nanoscale to investigating whether we can directly control matter on the atomic scale.The first use of the concepts found in 'nano-technology' (but pre-dating use of that name) was in "There's Plenty of Room at the Bottom," a talk given by physicist Richard Feynman at an American Physical Society meeting at Caltech on December 29, 1959.Feynman described a process by which the ability to manipulate individual atoms and molecules might be developed, using one set of precise tools to build and operate another proportionally smaller set, and so on down to the needed scale.In the course of this, he noted, scaling issues would arise from the changing magnitude of various physical phenomena: gravity would become less important, surface tension and Van der Waals attraction would become increasingly more significant, etc.

On the table is (or seems to be) an old 1990s silicon computer chip. The smaller (shown as block) has roughly the same power as the chip seen in the first view; the larger (with only the corner visible) is as powerful as mid-1980s mainframe computer.When you pick it up, as the beginners' instructions suggest, it looks like Figure 1A. Another factor of 100 magnification (E) shows an irregular protein from the cell on the lower right, and a cylindrical gear made by molecular manufacturing at top left.Taking a smaller factor of 10 jump, (F) shows two atoms in the protein, with electron clouds represented by stippling.Nanotechnology, shortened to "nanotech", is the study of the control of matter on an atomic and molecular scale.Generally nanotechnology deals with structures of the size 100 nanometers or smaller, and involves developing materials or devices within that size.

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A final factor of 100 magnification (G) reveals the nucleus of the atom as a tiny speck.