Fwd: Manufacturing with Atoms and Molecules' on 'The Paula Gordon Show'

Fri, 13 Dec 1996 09:42:09 -0500

Forwarded message:
From: AOLNewsProfiles@aol.net
Date: 96-12-12 15:45:32 EST

ATLANTA, Dec. 12 /PRNewswire/ -- Diamonds from pencil lead? No problem
"molecular manufacturing" and "nanotechnology" become reality as Ralph Merkle
expects. He's an exploratory engineer bringing science and engineering
together at Xerox PARC (Palo Alto Research Center.) Merkle's a nanotechnology
pioneer and guest on "The Paula Gordon Show," Sunday, December 15, at
9:04 a.m. on WQXI/790AM.
Merkle and others working at Xerox PARC specialize in finding
applications for high-end science. (Computer "icons" people now take for
granted were invented there.) Merkle takes a pragmatic approach to the
possibility of nanotechnology -- since it appears molecular manufacturing can
happen, it will happen. Tools will be created to allow us to manufacture
nature's basic building blocks -- atoms and molecules. That would
dramatically reduce cost while radically increasing precision and
The possibilities for benefit or harm are enormous. Merkle is an optimist.
"Nanotechnology overcomes the physical limits of current
technology. It
could vastly enhance the human condition, lead to global abundance. Imagine
if we could eliminate world hunger by growing perfect food in precisely
regulated green houses. Or eliminate pollution. Today's manufacturing
technologies are crude -- it's as if we were trying to assemble Lego blocks
while wearing boxing gloves. If we could manipulate atoms and molecules,
finally be able to take the boxing gloves off."
There are profound implications to this proposed advance in human
technology. The Foresight Institute (www.foresight.org) is one organization
watching the nanotechnology work of scientists and engineers around the
"Right now, all manufacturing is very crude at the molecular level.
nanotechnology, we have the potential to put every atom in the right place.
We will finally have the ability truly to manipulate our physical
It's a monumental shift. The public needs to play an active part in it,"
In 1959, Nobel Laureate physicist Richard Feynman suggested
manufacturing was possible. Now an entire discipline exists. Is this
or is this chemistry? "Yes," grinned Merkle.
"Nanotechnology will allow us to make incredibly small things with
efficiency, cheaply. We'll be able to create the materials necessary to take
us to the stars," predicted Merkle.
"The Paula Gordon Show" originates in Atlanta. Beginning January
4, 1997,
The Show moves to Saturday afternoons, 3 to 4 p.m. on 50,000 watt
CO: The Paula Gordon Show
ST: Georgia

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