The December 2022 issue of IEEE Spectrum is here!

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The stuff of liquid-crystal displays looks different up close. In this image taken by Christian Bohley, an experimental physicist at Otto von Guericke University of Magdeburg, in Germany, both the blue and the gold areas contain liquid crystals. The difference is in their orientation. In the blue area, the crystals are unstructured, but in the gold and corrugated bands, the crystals have assembled themselves in helical forms. Bohley and his colleagues try to come up with theories for how these structures assemble.

Bohley's photo finished 18th out of 1700 entries in the Nikon Small World Photography Competition, which awards prizes for images made through microscopes. An exhibition of the finalists' photos is touring various parts of the United States, including New York City; Baltimore; Trenton, N.J.; and Portland, Ore. For details, see http://www.nikonsmallworld.com.

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The Transistor at 75

The past, present, and future of the modern world’s most important invention

2 min read
A photo of a birthday cake with 75 written on it.
Lisa Sheehan
LightGreen

Seventy-five years is a long time. It’s so long that most of us don’t remember a time before the transistor, and long enough for many engineers to have devoted entire careers to its use and development. In honor of this most important of technological achievements, this issue’s package of articles explores the transistor’s historical journey and potential future.

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