Summary: There's Plenty of Room at the Bottom
An Invitation to Enter a New Field of Physics
by Richard P. Feynman
This transcript of the classic talk that Richard Feynman gave on December 29th 1959 at the
annual meeting of the American Physical Society at the California Institute of Technology
(Caltech) was first published in the February 1960 issue of Caltech's Engineering and
Science, which owns the copyright. It has been made available on the web at
http://www.zyvex.com/nanotech/feynman.html with their kind permission.
Information on the Feynman Prizes
Links to pages on Feynman
For an account of the talk and how people reacted to it, see chapter 4 of Nano! by Ed Regis,
Little/Brown 1995. An excellent technical introduction to nanotechnology is Nanosystems:
molecular machinery, manufacturing, and computation by K. Eric Drexler, Wiley 1992.
I imagine experimental physicists must often look with envy at men like Kamerlingh Onnes, who
discovered a field like low temperature, which seems to be bottomless and in which one can go down
and down. Such a man is then a leader and has some temporary monopoly in a scientific adventure.
Percy Bridgman, in designing a way to obtain higher pressures, opened up another new field and was
able to move into it and to lead us all along. The development of ever higher vacuum was a continuing
development of the same kind.
I would like to describe a field, in which little has been done, but in which an enormous amount can be