Here is the full transcript and summary of scientist George Tulevski’s TED Talk: The Next Step in Nanotechnology.
Listen to the MP3 Audio:
George Tulevski – Scientist at IBM Research
Let’s imagine a sculptor building a statue, just chipping away with his chisel. Michelangelo had this elegant way of describing it when he said, “Every block of stone has a statue inside of it, and it’s the task of the sculptor to discover it.”
But what if he worked in the opposite direction? Not from a solid block of stone, but from a pile of dust, somehow gluing millions of these particles together to form a statue. I know that’s an absurd notion. It’s probably impossible. The only way you get a statue from a pile of dust is if the statue built itself — if somehow we could compel millions of these particles to come together to form the statue.
Now, as odd as that sounds, that is almost exactly the problem I work on in my lab. I don’t build with stone, I build with nanomaterials. They’re these just impossibly small, fascinating little objects. They’re so small that if this controller was a nanoparticle, a human hair would be the size of this entire room. And they’re at the heart of a field we call nanotechnology, which I’m sure we’ve all heard about, and we’ve all heard how it is going to change everything.