The ideas and concepts behind nanoscience and nanotechnology started with a talk entitled “ There’s Plenty of Room at the Bottom ” by physicist Richard Feynman at an American Physical Society meeting at the California Institute of Technology (CalTech) on December 29, 1959, long before the term nanotechnology was used. In his talk, Feynman described a process in which scientists would be able to manipulate and control individual atoms and molecules. Over a decade later, in his explorations of ultraprecision machining, Professor Norio Taniguchi coined the term nanotechnology. It wasn't until 1981, with the development of the scanning tunneling microscope that could "see" individual atoms, that modern nanotechnology began.
The monitor-lit glass roof of the atrium is carried on deep beams. Aerial bridges spanning the atrium at two points further interrupt the longitudinal axis. These are served by elevator shafts with fully glazed elevator cabins. These light, elegant structures in painted white steel are intended to appear as dematerialized screens subdividing the large perspectival volume into three different zones. The council chamber itself is situated prominently to one side of the main entrance. Its upper surface, visible from the flying bridges, provides an informal space for the councilors to meet the general public.