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Ohm’s Law Survives at the Atomic Scale

Ohm’s Law is extended to the atomic level, and Moore’s Law may get a reprieve

3 min read
Ohm’s Law Survives at the Atomic Scale

ohm's law f1

Image: Bent Weber
Atomic Bridge: The template for a 1.5-nanometer-wide nanowire was made by pushing atoms around using a scanning tunneling microscope. The resulting nanowire showed that Ohm's Law works even for wires just 4 atoms thick. Click on image to enlarge.

5 January 2012—Moore’s Law, the cornerstone rule of the semiconductor industry, may get a reprieve from its predicted demise, according to a group of scientists in Australia and the United States. Their unexpected findings show that a well-understood law of classical physics—and a pillar of electrical engineering—holds for some objects that are just four atoms wide, a size where quantum effects should rule instead.

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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

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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