Zeptoeverything - It's Mine
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.
Having 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
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.
How 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
Seriously, though, let us consider a few practical examples. A DNA double helix
is about 2 nanometers across, whereas the wavelength of
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.
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.
Some 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.