There’s Plenty of Room at the Bottom

Describe his perspectives, its major points and its implications.
The physicist Richard Feynman given a lecture at American Physical Society on December 29, 1959 named “There’s Plenty of Room at the Bottom”. This article was very different from the other commonly written topics on physics at that time. These days this lecture is commonly mentioned due to its extraordinary imaginative power. In this article Feynman predicted nanotechnology as an entire innovative field and explained the prosperity of innovatory technology advancements and applications such as very high density data storage media and very tiny mechanical devices would be practicable, with many improvements until ultimately essential physical limits at the atomic scale become applicable (Breitfelder). Feynman asked in his lecture to envisage a smallness contest in which we manage to write on a pinhead. Also he stated the techniques to read and write on pinhead. Feynman also talked about miniaturization of computers which is what exactly happening today; at the time of his lecture computers were very big. Feynman measured the opportunity of direct management of individualatomsas an extra powerful form of artificialchemistrythan those used at the time. Feynman considered very interesting implications of a general ability to control substance on an atomic scale. He was mainly concerned in the potential of smallcomputers andmicroscopeswhich could see things very small than is likely withscanning electron microscopes.

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Before Feynman given this speech there was very limited information of nanotechnology exists as he stated there is lot more research and experiments need to be done. However, he described various aspects of this technology and some practical examples of how to achieve large things at small scale. It includes writing very small text (for example the complete 24 volumes of the Encyclopaedia Britannica on the top of a pin), small computers (such as wire) and swallow the surgeon (very tiny robot which can go inside a person and examine him internally).
In this article, Feynman asked some questions (like how do wewritesmall?) and he presented the answers for these questions in very significant manner. As he described there was no standard technique to write on such a small scale but it is not impossible. The article also explained the solution of small scale writing using techniques available to engineers in 1959.It was to turn round the lenses of the electron microscope in order to shrink and to enlarge the particular text. If the source of ions sent through the reverse microscope lenses it could focus to a very tiny dot. He further stated that it’s possible to write with that spot such as we write in a TV cathode ray oscilloscope by leaving diagonally in lines, and doing an adjustment which decides the quantity of material we are going to put as we scan in lines. He further assumed that every bit of the information in all books in a library could hypothetically be transformed to digital information and can be stored like bits consisting of elements which can have only a few atoms each. These can be two different shapes to represent 0s and 1s. This would bundle much more information into a smaller space, and according to Feynman the complete contents of the world’s large libraries could fit in somewhat the size of a dust nit.
The author also presented the very different opportunity (which is the idea of his friend and graduate studentAlbert Hibbs) of “swallowing the doctor,”. This idea involved building a little, swallow able surgical robot. This tiny robot goes inside the blood vessel of a person and can examine the internal problem and do the surgery by itself. One tinier machine can be designed to put permanently inside the body which can assist the poorly functioning of organs. Feynman further discussed how to design such a tiny robot with giving the example of atomic energy plants.
The author’s imagination about the computers is very interesting as on one side he wanted to add more functionality to the existing computers, on another point he wanted them to be very small. Feynman stated that if we want to add more abilities to these existing large computers (which are of the size of the room) those new computers could be bigger than the pentagon’s building and some other disadvantages includes power consumption, heat generation, slow speed and too much material required. If speed of computers has to be faster, computers have to be smaller. The author recommended that very small computers could be prepared by fabricating all the required wires and components using chemical techniques, to form a little block consisting all the compulsory electronics.
Feynman also said that building useful things could be done at the atomic level, by manipulating individual atoms to arrange them however the engineer or scientist wanted .However, he discussed the problems associated with these changes such as the gravity for these little things is not appreciable. If the sizes go smaller, some of the tools would also require redesigning due to the change in the relative strength of various forces. Even ifgravitywould become inconsequential, surface tension would turn out to be more important. At the end of this article, Feynman gave two challenges and offered a prize of $1000 for the person who can accept and solve it first. These challenges involved the construction of atiny electric motor no larger than 1/64th of an inch square and the second challenge involved the opportunity of making size of letters adequately small so that the entireEncyclopaedia Britannica can be written on the top of a pin. The information from a book page could be written on a surface 1/25,000 smaller in linear scale. In November 1960 William McLellan of Caltech, a meticulous craftsman, achieved the solution of first challenge with a device made by hand using conventional tools and claimed the prize. These days this tiny motor is placed in the corridors of Caltech. The book challenge took longer time; it was achieved just three years before Feynman’s death in 1985 by Tom Newman, a graduate student at Stanford University, US, using electron-beam lithography. He scaled down the first paragraph of“A Tale of Two Cities”by 1/25,000, and calmed the second prize from Feynman (“Feynman’s fancy”).
The field has seen remarkable achievements since then, indeed, most notably the reduction of the area of transistors in microelectronic circuits by more than a factor of 107, or of the space required to store 1 bit of information on a magnetic surface by ≈108. Nanomechanical devices have seen tremendous progress, too, through impressive advances in scanning probe microscopy (“Feynman’s fancy”).
Works Cited
Breitfelder, Kim. “There’s Plenty of Room at the Bottom: Richard Feynman’s Big Dream for Small Things.” IEEE-USA Today’s Engineer Online(2006): n. pag. Web. 17Jan.2014.
Feynman, RichardP. “There’s Plenty of Room at the Bottom.” Journal of Microelectromechanical Systems 1.1(1992): 60-66. Print.
“Feynman’s fancy.” Chemistry WorldJan.2009: 58-62. Web. 17Jan.2014.

Imagery and Language in ‘Little Boy Crying’ and ‘Plenty’

“Little Boy Crying” by Mervyn Morris and “Plenty” by Isobel Dixon both explore the vivid childhood memories and experiences of the poets. In “Little Boy Crying,” a father deals with the troubles of raising a and disciplining a child; whereas in “Plenty,” Dixon describes her youth when she and her sisters could not afford the things they so greedily stole behind their mother’s back; finally comparing it to her prosperous present. I will explore how the poets use imagery and language, voice and tone, and structure and form to create effects and convey their experiences.

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“Little Boy Crying” is based on a father’s true story revealing the how he once treated his son. It depicts the themes of sadness, remorse, and love. Morris describes his battle with fighting the regret he feels for slapping his son because he loves him so much, “longs to lift you, curb your sadness.” This is perhaps to depict the contrast between the two emotions and the danger of what happens when they collide. At first, the reader empathizes with the boy, however, as the poem progresses and the father’s situation is understood, the reader begins to empathize for him as well.
“Plenty,” is based on Dixon’s chaotic youth with her sisters. It explores the themes of chaos, restriction, and realization. Dixon writes about her memories of the past, often referring to her mother’s anger over the chaos she and her sisters create by ignoring the mother’s restrictions, “her lips… anchored down… not knowing then it was a clasp to keep us all from chaos.” This shows that as you get older, you realize the importance of order and begin appreciating your parent’s hard labor.
Mervyn Morris’ use of powerful language helps the reader relate to the situation described. The title, “Little Boy Crying,” already provokes a sad image of what is forthcoming in the poem, creating an instantaneous dramatic effect on the reader. In the first stanza, Morris expresses the changes which his son undertook since the slap, “mouth contorting,” “laughter metamorphosed,” and “frame so recently relaxed now tight.” The word “metamorphosed,” exemplifies the rapidity of the change of the boy’s facial expression, creating a more powerful image of the emotions the boy is feeling. These changes quickly introduce the reader to the circumstances.
Powerful imagery of water is seen in the phrase “swimming tears, splashing your bare feet,” where sibilance and personification of the tears have been used to invoke a more dramatic sense of the boy’s misery. The phrase “quick slap stuck,” creates a more sped up and violent interpretation of the happenings; and the use of onomatopoeia in “slap,” creates a more graphic scene.
Overall in the first stanza of “Little Boy Crying,” many sad and angry words are used to create a depressed mood: “Howls,” “frame… tight,” “frustration,” “swimming tears,” and “guilt or sorrow.” Such powerful phrases are used to invoke a more immediate effect of grief and a relation to the situation by the reader. The reader becomes more compassionate and understanding of the characters.
In the second stanza the father imagines himself in the son’s position, alluding to the fairytale “Jack and the Bean stalk,” evoking powerful imagery of hatred as well, “The ogre,” “grim giant,” “colossal cruel,” “Chopped clean the tree [the father’s] scrambling down.” The use of alliteration of “g” in “grim giant” and “c” in “colossal cruel,” places emphasis on the phrases to describe the pure hatred the father thinks the boy must feel against him, signifying that he knows he is being mean and understands his decisions were harsh. The reference to a well-known fairytale increases the reader’s ability to relate to the situation and creates a more vivid scenario.
In the third stanza, the line “You cannot understand, not yet” demonstrates that the child does not acknowledge the fact that his father is teaching him a lesson. The father seems very guilt struck and at fault that he had to take such measures to teach a lesson, “The hurt your easy tears can scald him with.” The boy does not realize the pain his display of sadness causes his father, who obviously takes no pleasure in making his son cry. The father seems to regret his actions however stays firm to teach the lesson, “Longs to lift you, curb your sadness.” The alliteration of “l” emphasizes the longing however the father stays strong to ensure his son is raised with the correct values.
The last stanza implies the little boy has been playing in the rain, “you must not make a plaything of the rain.” This line has several meanings such as the immorality of trying to get sympathy by crying. On another level, it could be the father instructing himself to take his lessons more seriously and his need stay firm to show discipline.
Isobel Dixon also uses powerful imagery and language to convey her messages. The title itself contrasts with nearly the entirety of the poem as poverty has placed them far away from “Plenty”. Isobel Dixon creates an intense mood using vivid description early on in the poem.
In the first stanza the reader is introduced to Dixon’s memory of an “enamel tub, age-stained and pocked upon its griffin claws, never full.” Such an image conveys the impression that that the family cannot afford proper equipment such as a bathtub and is unable to fill it with water as it is too costly and in short supply.
Water is recognized as a representation of their deprivation from basic necessities in the ongoing “expanse of drought where dams leaked dry and windmills stalled.” The alliteration of “d” in the phrase “drought where dams leaked dry,” enhances the effectiveness of the image created by making them more prominent in the description.
The stalled windmills are subsequently compared with the mother’s smile, “Like mommy’s smile.” This infers that her smile has stalled. Dixon uses metaphors to describe her mother’s frown, “a clasp to keep us all from chaos.” The metaphor is used to create a more vivid image of the mother’s efforts to keep the family together. Additionally, the onomatopoeia of the word clasp creates a more powerful picture.
Many cases of sibilance are found in the phrase “she saw it always, snapping locks and straps, the spilling: sums and worries, shopping lists…” The ongoing repetition of the consonant “s” creates an almost explosive ringing.
The poet uses contradictory phrases to exaggerate their meaning in the oxymoron, “each month was weeks too long.” A month is always an exact number of weeks long; however Dixon implies that they never had enough money to cover an entire month’s worth of spending.
In the penultimate stanza, when describing the present, Dixon uses enjambment in the line “water’s plentiful, to excess, almost, here./” This creates a slower progression in the poem and exemplifies how she is disregarding all her previous worries about taking “another precious of water.”
“Little Boy Crying,” is written from the voice of the father; however it changes perspective several times. In the first stanza, the father is observing the reaction of his son. In the second stanza, the father attempts to view the situation from his son’s point of view. In the third stanza a third-person view responds to the happenings, explaining the father’s feelings.
In contrast, “Plenty,” is written entirely from Dixon’s point of view. She writes in a voice which seems apologetic because of all the disorder she now recognizes she caused, “not knowing then,” and “we thought her mean.” Later, she compares it to the present, where “bubbles lap my chin.” Even though she is grateful for the present luxury in her life, she misses her childhood, “miss my scattered sisters.”
In “Little Boy Crying”, Morris uses long sentences with small amounts of punctuation to create tension and make the reader keep reading. The first stanza is composed of seven lines, however only one sentence. The stanza length is a little beyond average, and the last stanza ends abruptly as it consists only of one line. Ending a poem with one line creates force and stress to the line, making the reader consider it more. The use of enjambment establishes a greater emphasis on the word previous to it, such as “howls, frustration, and tears.” This is done to put pressure on specific words, empowering their meaning and adding importance to their effect. They become more noticeable than the rest of the words
In “Plenty,” Dixon uses normal length sentences and stanzas, which contradicts the chaos depicted in the poem. She does not use very much enjambment, creating an ongoing flow of reading. Her use of punctuation varies greatly as in the fourth stanza; three full-stops are used. On the other hand, in the fifth and sixth stanzas, altogether only one full-stop is used. This creates tension when it’s needed and adds a story-like effect.
“Little Boy Crying,” by Mervyn Morris and “Plenty,” by Isobel Dixon both delve into the moving childhood experiences they have. In “Little Boy Crying,” a father resists the urge to apologize to his son for disciplining him; whereas in “Plenty,” Dixon describes her chaotic youth with her sisters; finally comparing it to her present. “Little Boy Crying” explores the themes of sadness, discipline, and regret. “Plenty,” explores the themes of chaos, restriction, and realization. Both poems have their underlying messages such as in plenty, where patience helps us all deal with many of life’s everyday problems. In “Little Boy Crying,” one learns the difficulty of punishing a child even though it is for the greater good of them.