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How do you inscribe info. into a piece of metal?

  1. Jan 31, 2004 #1
    How is it that you can "program" a piece of metal, such as a chip or board? I wish I knew! Is there a series of lines and dashes that do that? I'm completely baffled as to how someone gets a piece of metal to read another piece of metal and makes it into a working machine! :frown: [?] What is the basic mechanism at the base of all this that drives a computer or any other form of computer-based technology? What is the process that brings this all to life?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 31, 2004 #2


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    It's all thanks to the glories of quantum mechanics in play in a semiconductor, allowing you to make what is essentially a load of switches work together.
  4. Jan 31, 2004 #3


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    But it's important to realise that the "switches" mentioned are not physical or mechanical switches in the normal sense. They are peaks of magnetic fields in the metal. There's a good explanation at this site.

    I understand that by 2010, a one-petabyte (1,000 terrabytes, or 1,000,000 Gig; enough disk-space to store the entire Library of Congress fifty times!) disk should be created, using carbon nanotubes.
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