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Micrometres To Nanometres

But how far are we from the theoretical bottom?

Just about another factor of a thousand, it turns out.

If we shrink from a micrometre to a thousandth of that, a nanometre, we've reached the scale where atoms become tangible objects. A one nanometre cube of diamond has 176 atoms in it.

Designing at this scale is working in a world where physics, chemistry, electrical engineering, and mechanical engineering become unified into an integrated field.

This field will be called molecular engineering, and I believe it will be at the heart of the next two industrial revolutions.

Editor: John Walker