Department of Physics, Engineering Physics & Astronomy

Department of Physics, Engineering Physics & Astronomy
Department of Physics, Engineering Physics & Astronomy

What's the Buzz About Nano?

Prof. Peter Grutter
MIT

Wednesday, January 16, 2008
3:30 PM @ Stirling A

Abstract:

In 1959, Richard Feynman gave a lecture entitled "There's Plenty of Room at the Bottom". Feynman suggested a variety of experiments and technologies that might be achieved at very small scales. This is an area that is currently getting a lot of hype (and more than 2 B$ of annual funding in the USA and Europe). Some recent suggestions sound like science fiction, although we are not yet seeing newspaper headlines titled "Honey, I Shrunk the Factory". Nevertheless, terrific advances have been and are being made. In this colloquium, I will introduce some of the scientific and technological challenges at the nanoscale frontier. At this scale, the traditional boundaries between physics, chemistry, biology and engineering vanish - one of the reasons nanotechnology has a huge potential, as it truly is a renaissance science! We are indeed rapidly moving into the "Room at the Bottom". I will focus on some of the potential and challenges for information processing at the nano scale by discuss examples from my research group using Atomic Force Microscopy to detect and control single electrons in artificially engineered 'atoms' (aka quantum dots), using single domain magnetic particles to build quantum cellular automata for information processing or our attempts to make contacts to single molecules.

Refreshments will be available 15 mins before the talk.