By Gautham Nagesh - 02/18/11 07:50 PM EST
President Obama on Friday toured Intel's advanced semiconduct manufacturing facility in Hillsboro, Ore., where he got up close and personal with some atoms at the Transmission Electron Microscope Lab.
According to the pool report Obama appeared fascinated by the small size of everything that goes into making transistors and microchips.
"I've gotta see some atoms, excuse me," he advised photographers while examining images on a computer screen as seen by an electron microscope. "Don't bump my atoms here."
The president was informed that 30 years ago, a mainframe computer the size of a room contained the same info that a microchip does today.
"This gives you a sense of the advances that have been made here at Intel," said Obama, who appeared impressed with the tour, judging by the report.
The president was also scheduled to be presented with a silicon wafer made at the facility by Intel Senior Fellow Mark Bohr and learn how Intel assesses the contents at the atomic level.
Later, Obama will see demonstrations from two teams of students named finalists in the Intel Science Talent Search.