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In 1959, Richard Feynman delivered a lecture with the title, “There is Plenty of Room at the Bottom.” The audience was attendees of the American Physical Society meeting at Caltech. What Feynman, a great seer, talked about was using progressively smaller structures for useful purposes such as storing bits of information.
He even offered a $1,000 (US) prize for anyone who could take the information on the page of a book and put in an area 1/25,000 times smaller in linear scale. In 1986, 26 years after Feynman offered the prize, it was won by a Stanford University graduate student. Tom Newman used electron beam lithography to write out the first page of “A Tale of Two Cities” by Charles Dickens. The letters were about 50 atoms wide.