Meeting Information

Feynman’s Challenge: Building Things From Atoms – One by One

June 18, 2008
American Center for Physics
College Park, MD

APS Mid-Atlantic Senior Physicists Group June 2008 Event

E.Clayton Teague, Director, National Nanotechnology Coordination Office (NNCO)

Topic: Feynman’s Challenge: Building Things From Atoms – One by One

Time/Location: The talk will start at 1:00 pm with a Q&A session to follow. It will be held in one of the first floor conference rooms at the American Center for Physics, One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD. This is located off River Road, between Kenilworth Ave. and Paint Branch Parkway.

Abstract: One often hears nanotechnology described as building things atom-by-atom. Such a description explicitly refers back to the questions, “whether, ultimately—in the great future—we can arrange the atoms the way we want; the very atoms, all the way down! what would the properties of materials be (if we had this capability) and what would happen if we could arrange the atoms one by one?” posed by Richard Feynman in his famous talk, “There’s Plenty of Room at the Bottom.” Developing the theoretical understanding and experimental realizations to answer Feynman’s questions remains a long standing and an ongoing challenge for all the scientific communities involved with nanoscale science, engineering, and technology. This talk reviews the history of efforts and progress which the scientific and technological community have made toward this challenge and provides a limited overview of the several paths being pursued toward the goal of building things from the “bottom-up” atom-by-atom.

Biography: Clayton Teague has been Director of the NNCO since April 2003. He also is serving as Chair of the American National Standards Institute Technical Advisory Group to the ISO Technical Committee on Nanotechnologies . He holds a BS and MS in physics from the Georgia Institute of Technology and a PhD in physics from the University of North Texas.

Beginning with his quantum mechanical tunneling work, he has been working in the some of the fields now known as nanotechnology since 1968. His work has included designing, constructing, and using scanning tunneling microscopes (STMs), atomic force microscopes (AFMs), and interferometers for ultra-high accuracy dimensional metrology of surfaces and micrometer to nanometer-scale features. He has authored or coauthored over 70 papers and managed a number of large projects in these fields.

Dr. Teague is a member of the American Society for Precision Engineering, has served twice as the Society’s president, and is a fellow of the UK Institute of Physics. He served as Editor-in-Chief of the international journal Nanotechnology for ten years. he has received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the European Society for Precision Engineering and Nanotechnology (2008), a Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Society for Precision Engineering (2007), a Lifetime Achievement Award from Small Times magazine (2007), a Meritorious Service Award from the American National Standards Institute (2007), the Gold Medal, Silver Medal, and Allen V. Austin Measurement Science Award from the Department of Commerce, the Kilby International Award from the Kilby Awards Foundation, and an IR-100 Industrial Research and Development Award.