The latest edition of Spectrum has an absolutely thrilling article on how a 37-year-old postulation of a hidden ''fourth element'' of fundamental electronic components has been found: the memory resistor, or the memristor.
It turns out the memristor was hiding in plain sight, so to speak, and would have gone on being only a mathematical postulation, if Stanley Williams and his team at HP had not been working on molecular electronics. Without working with materials and devices on the nanometer scale, the memresistance effect is just simply overwhelmed by other effects, and without any need to make use of its effects, memresistance could stay hidden for nearly forty years within the electrical characteristics of certain nanoscale devices.
The result of this discovery is that memristor devices could enable non-volatile RAM and neural networks. The article describes Williams as a ''kid in a candy store'', you will feel like one to after reading the article.