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Big Thinkers - Ralph Merkle [Nanotechnologist]

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Uploaded on Oct 14, 2011

Big Thinkers is a former ZDTV (later TechTV) television program. It featured a half-hour interview with a "big thinker" in science, technology, and other fields. Interviews were filmed in a 16:9 format and intercut with public domain material from the Prelinger Archives. This archival footage (mostly film clips from the 1940's and 50's) was used to create visual metaphors highlighting the speaker's points.

This episode features Ralph Merkle. He is a pioneer in public key cryptography, and more recently a researcher and speaker on molecular nanotechnology and cryonics. Merkle appears in the science fiction novel 'The Diamond Age', as one of the heroes of the world where nanotechnology is ubiquitous. He was a distinguished professor in the College of Computing at the Georgia Institute of Technology. In addition to his work at Georgia Tech, Merkle is also a director of the Alcor Life Extension Foundation, of Arizona. In 1988, he became a research scientist at Xerox PARC, until 1999. Subsequently he worked as a nanotechnology theorist for Zyvex, returning to academia in 2003 as a Distinguished Professor at Georgia Tech.

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