My watch list  

Tom Newman (scientist)

Tom Newman, a graduate student at Stanford University in 1985, was one of the two people to solve one of a pair of challenges put forth by Nobel Prize-winning physicist Richard Feynman at the annual meeting of the Americal Physical Society in 1959, in a talk titled "There's Plenty of Room at the Bottom".[1]

Additional recommended knowledge

In December of that year, Feynman offered two challenges at the meeting, held that year in Caltech, offering a $1000 prize to the first person to solve each of them. Both challenges involved nanotechnology, and the first prize was won by William McLellan.

The second challenge was for anyone who could find a way to write small enough to get the entire Encyclopædia Britannica on the head of a pin, a reduction of 25,000 times from its standard print.

Newman claimed the prize when he wrote the first page of Charles Dickens' A Tale of Two Cities, at the required scale, on the head of a pin with a beam of electrons. The main problem he had before he could claim the prize was finding the text after he had written it; the head of the pin was a huge empty space compared with the text inscribed on it.[1]


  1. ^ a b Gribbin, John. "Richard Feynman: A Life in Science" Dutton 1997, pg 170.
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Tom_Newman_(scientist)". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
Your browser is not current. Microsoft Internet Explorer 6.0 does not support some functions on Chemie.DE