New work extends the thermodynamic theory of computation

Every computing system, biological or synthetic, from cells to brains to laptops, has a cost. This isn't the price, which is easy to discern, but an energy cost connected to the work required to run a program and the heat ...

Four myths about vertical farming debunked by an expert

Vertical farms look hi-tech and sophisticated, but the premise is simple—plants are grown without soil, with their roots in a solution containing nutrients. This innovative approach to agriculture is growing in global market ...

New model extends theory of pattern formation to the nano-cosmos

A new model developed by scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization (MPI-DS) extends the theory of elastic phase separation towards nanoscopic structures. Such patterns are frequent in biological ...

Steering toward quantum simulation at scale

Researchers simulated a key quantum state at one of the largest scales reported, with support from the Quantum Computing User Program, or QCUP, at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

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Computer

A computer is a machine that manipulates data according to a set of instructions.

Although mechanical examples of computers have existed through much of recorded human history, the first electronic computers were developed in the mid-20th century (1940–1945). These were the size of a large room, consuming as much power as several hundred modern personal computers (PCs). Modern computers based on integrated circuits are millions to billions of times more capable than the early machines, and occupy a fraction of the space. Simple computers are small enough to fit into a wristwatch, and can be powered by a watch battery. Personal computers in their various forms are icons of the Information Age and are what most people think of as "computers". The embedded computers found in many devices from MP3 players to fighter aircraft and from toys to industrial robots are however the most numerous.

The ability to store and execute lists of instructions called programs makes computers extremely versatile, distinguishing them from calculators. The Church–Turing thesis is a mathematical statement of this versatility: any computer with a certain minimum capability is, in principle, capable of performing the same tasks that any other computer can perform. Therefore computers ranging from a mobile phone to a supercomputer are all able to perform the same computational tasks, given enough time and storage capacity.

This text uses material from Wikipedia, licensed under CC BY-SA