Kirt's Cogitations™ #250 - Zeptoeverything - It's Mine
These original Kirt's Cogitations™ may be reproduced
(no more than 5, please) provided proper credit is given to me, Kirt Blattenberger.
here to return to the Table of Contents.
Cog·i·ta·tion [koj-i-tey'-shun] – noun: Concerted
reflection; meditation; contemplation.
Kirt [kert] – proper noun: RF Cafe webmaster.
Let it hereby be known that I claim
copyright and trademark rights for the following terms, in both their hyphenated and unhyphenated forms:
- zepto®™ (ala the Apple™ nano™)
There are others, of course, but I do not want to appear
greedy and overreaching. You can claim the others. Why not "atto...?" It has been taken. Read on.
spent my teen years in the 1970s, I remember well the emergence of everything "micro." By the time I was savvy
enough to jump on some word and phrase claims, Bill G. had already formed Microsoft, micrometer calipers already
filled the toolboxes of machinists, and microbiology was already being taught in colleges. A few months after my
13th birthday, Intel secured its patent (#3,821,715)
on the world's first commercial microprocessor (4004). Micro-something mot du jours appeared at every turn..
The world was fairly content with things micro for a couple decades, but Moore's Law forged ahead and by the
1990s, we entered the nano era. Sub-micron (i.e., nano) IC geometries were becoming the norm as
one-million-transistor processors were announced. Nanotechnology was the popular buzz phrase used for luring
investors to underwrite thousands of newly formed companies that promised to revolutionize our civilization. They
delivered on the promise.
Almost daily I post headlines of the latest breakthrough in nanothis and
nanothat. Nanomachines are enabling surgery and drug delivery at the cellular level and allow accelerometers to be
constructed capable of detecting gravitational forces between grains of sand. Carbon nanotubes have been fashioned
into everything from high-capacity, rapid-charge battery cells to super-conducting substrates, to bullet-stopping
body and equipment armor. Carbon nanotube cable is being studied as the breakthrough technology that could
actually make the
space elevator concept a reality. It is amazing to witness the speed at which the frontiers are advancing.
Originally, I was going to lay claim to attothis and attothat, but as you might imagine there has already been
some push into the atto arena. A Google search on
atto technology showed that someone beat me to the name. Atto
electronics must also be out there already. I want rights to the entire realm of a numerical prefix. So, I moved
on to the next step down. Nobody has zeptoanything yet†... except now I do.
Thanks to services like Archive.org's
Wayback Machine™, there will be a permanent record
of my legal right to the names preserved in perpetuity should the need for proof arise in a court case.
small is zepto? Here is a list of some common
Of course everything is relative, so an attotexasecond is still a second, which is not a very
impressive amount of time. A femtoparsec
is about 31 meters in length. A zeptomole will get you 602 carbon 12 atoms. In contemporary terms, a
picoUSBailoutPackage is around four bucks... don't spend it all in one place.
Seriously, though, let us consider a few practical examples. A DNA double helix is about 2 nanometers across,
whereas the wavelength of
visible light ranges from about 380 to 750 nm. That, of course, means you cannot see DNA without the help of
x-ray imaging, which runs down into the 0.01 nanometer realm. The gate width for one of Intel's newest
microprocessors is around 45 nanometers.
Hydrogen has a Bohr radius of 53
picometers; lead's Bohr radius is 154 pm. Fingernails grow at a rate of around 100 micrometers per day.
people say that the widespread acceptance and embracing of Gordon Moore's "Law," first introduced in 1965 (see
original graph at right), has been a motivational force to help assure that it has been perpetuated for more than
40 years. Moore's Law predicts a doubling of densities every two years, which has equated to shrinking gate sizes.
Pn = P0 x 2n
Getting to the zeptometer gate width realm from the current nanometer gate width realm means a shrinkage
factor of 1012. Since log2 (1012) = 240, that means it will take 20 more years.
Sure, it might be thought impossible today because of physics limitation, but science absolutes change all the
time. I might still be around by then to capitalize on my zeptoeverything claim - not a bad retirement plan even
at 70 years old.
By the way, for the sake of my posterity, since it will be long past my days on this Earth, I also claim
subplanckscale®™, subplanckelectronics®™, subplancktube®™, and subplanck®™ as a generic prefix for everything.
Yeah, yeah, I know you are thinking that the
Planck length is theoretically the shortest
possible length, but remember what I just said about absolutes. The only universal constant is change.
† There is a zepto.com already, but I'm camping on the domain name to snatch it when it expires.