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The fun way to manipulate atoms

With their potential to perform calculations far beyond the reach of conventional supercomputers, machines harnessing certain quantum physics phenomena are expected to change the way the world solves complex problems. They ...

Limitation exposed in promising quantum computing material

Quantum computers promise to perform operations of great importance believed to be impossible for our technology today. Current computers process information via transistors carrying one of two units of information, either ...

At 82, NASA pioneer Sue Finley still reaching for the stars

Sue Finley began work at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory as the US prepared to launch its first satellite into orbit in 1958, racing to match the Soviet Union, which had accomplished the feat months earlier.

NASA examines Tropical Storm Barry post-landfall

Tropical Storm Barry made landfall mid-day on July 13, but infrared satellite imagery from NASA early on July 14 continued to show the heaviest rainmaking storms were still off-shore. NASA's Aqua satellite analyzed cloud ...

As ransomware rages, debate heats up on response

City services in Baltimore, Maryland, were paralyzed earlier this year when a ransomware attack locked up computer networks and made it impossible for residents to make property transactions or pay their municipal bills.

Scientists unveil the first-ever image of quantum entanglement

For the first time ever, physicists have managed to take a photo of a strong form of quantum entanglement called Bell entanglement—capturing visual evidence of an elusive phenomenon which a baffled Albert Einstein once ...

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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