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Optimal quantum computation linked to gravity

Information and gravity may seem like completely different things, but one thing they have in common is that they can both be described in the framework of geometry. Building on this connection, a new paper suggests that ...

A graphene superconductor that plays more than one tune

Researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) have developed a graphene device that's thinner than a human hair but has a depth of special traits. It easily switches from ...

Two-qubit gate: the speediest quantum operation yet

A group of scientists led by 2018 Australian of the Year Professor Michelle Simmons have achieved the first two-qubit gate between atom qubits in silicon—a major milestone on the team's quest to build an atom-scale quantum ...

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 ...

'Digital alchemy' to reverse-engineer new materials

In work that upends materials design, researchers have demonstrated with computer simulations that they can design a crystal and work backward to the particle shape that will self-assemble to create it.

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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.

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