Plenty of Room in the Middle: Nanoscience - The Next 50 Years

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Plenty of Room in the Middle:  Nanoscience - The Next 50 Years

Plenty of Room in the Middle: Nanoscience - The Next 50 Years

January 15, 2011

California Institute of Technology

Just over fifty years ago, on December 29, 1959, future Nobel laureate Richard Feynman gave a visionary and, now, famous talk entitled "There's Plenty of Room at the Bottom." Although he didn’t intend it, Feynman's 7,000 words marked a defining moment in what would become the field of nanotechnology—long before anything "nano" appeared on the horizon. In celebration of Feynman’s prescient vision, we are convening a Kavli Futures Symposium to view the present state-of-the-art in nanoscience, and envision the next 50 years to come. This visionary scientific workshop will follow the public event TEDxCaltech, "Feynman's Vision: The Next 50 Years," to be held at Caltech on Friday, 14 January 2011. The TEDx event will feature short, publicly accessible talks spanning multiple fields, one of which will be nanoscience. The Kavli Futures Symposium, to follow the next day, will delve much deeper into the future possibilities of nanoscience. Our event title, "Plenty of Room in the Middle: Nanoscience - The Next 50 Years"reflects both its connection with the theme of the TEDxCaltech event, and what we perceive as vast future opportunities in scaling up from atomic assembly and individual nanodevices, to macroscopic systems and structures with emergent properties and functionality.

The venue, Caltech's Hameetman Auditorium, is a location that will engender an intimate connection between speakers, provocateurs, and symposium participants. The entire day will be participatory and interactive; the provoateurs will "seed" —and moderate—questions during the presentations. An extended discussion session will conclude each of the four sessions, and follow on the themes presented by its four speakers. The event website will provide podcasts of the day, and will host a forum for ongoing visionary discussion. Registration, limited to 150, is on a first-come / first-served basis (until filled).

View info in pdf format:

  • Logistics, including travel information (pdf).

Registration is now closed.

Speakers Include: Paul Alivisatos (UCB), Harry Atwater (Caltech), Andreas Heinrich (IBM Almaden), Cees Dekker (Delft), Naomi Halas (Rice), Jim Heath (Caltech), Leo Kouwenhoven (Delft), Daniel Loss (Basel), John Martinis (UCSB), Paul McEuen (Cornell), Oskar Painter (Caltech), Keith Schwab (Caltech), Ned Seeman (NYU), Michelle Simmons (UNSW), Sam Stupp (Northwestern), Dave Weitz (Harvard), and a special lecture by Carver Mead (Caltech).

Conference Organizers
Don Eigler, IBM Almaden
Michael Roukes, Caltech


Paul Alivisatos (UCB) - Flash Video | Quicktime Video

Harry Atwater (Caltech) - Flash Video | Quicktime Video

Andreas Heinrich (IBM Almaden) - Flash Video | Quicktime Video

Cees Dekker (Delft) - Flash Video | Quicktime Video

Naomi Halas (Rice) - Flash Video | Quicktime Video

Jim Heath (Caltech) - Flash Video | Quicktime Video

Leo Kouwenhoven (Delft) - Flash Video | Quicktime Video

Daniel Loss (Basel) - Flash Video | Quicktime Video

John Martinis (UCSB) - Flash Video | Quicktime Video

Paul McEuen (Cornell) - Flash Video | Quicktime Video

Oskar Painter (Caltech) - Flash Video | Quicktime Video

Keith Schwab (Caltech) - Flash Video | Quicktime Video

Ned Seeman (NYU) - Flash Video | Quicktime Video

Michelle Simmons (UNSW) - Flash Video | Quicktime Video

Sam Stupp (Northwestern) - Flash Video | Quicktime Video

Dave Weitz (Harvard) - Flash Video | Quicktime Video

Carver Mead (Caltech) - Flash Video | Quicktime Video

Welcome - Flash Video | Quicktime Video

Opening - Flash Video | Quicktime Video

Closing - Flash Video | Quicktime Video



Session I - Atomic-scale Assembly and Imaging

Session II - Mesocopic Quantum Coherence

Session III - The Nano/Bio Nexus

Session IV - Nanotechnology Frontiers