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What kind of physics is involved in computer production?

  1. Nov 29, 2015 #1
    I'm trying to find an a topic for a physics exploration, and since I like working with computer hardware, I figure I'll try to look at physics related to computer hardware, or electrical/computer engineering in general. However I can't seem to find out what kind of physics goes into this stuff. Perhaps it's just my wording, but Google returns nothing.

    So, what kind of physics goes into the production of computer hardware, or more generally computer or electrical engineering? Not sure if I can ask this here, but any ideas on how I can create a physics exploration based on these ideas?

    Thanks for any help/clarification!
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 29, 2015 #2
    You should start with semiconductors, which are the physical basis of 99.9% of modern CPU and memory systems.
  4. Nov 30, 2015 #3


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    Even soldering components onto a printed circuit boards involves processes that look suspiciously like "physics"...


    Edit: Physics is everywhere in computers, from the spin up time of a hard drive to generating colours on an LCD/LED panel. It's harder to think where physics isn't involved.
  5. Nov 30, 2015 #4


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    Rootone has mentioned semiconductors, which is a MAJOR aspect of microprocessors that powers practically all of our modern electronics. Pay particular attention to solid state devices such as transistors, etc.

    And don't forget your hard disk drives, which is a magnetic medium.

    Even the issue of having a proper insulating layer is an issue. As things get smaller, it is essential that circuit boards, etc. can be made smaller and thinner, and a proper insulating layer that is extremely thin is needed. So the physics of insulators, and the growth of new material for this come into play.

    In other words, look up "solid state physics".

  6. Nov 30, 2015 #5
    Thanks for all the replies, I can't wait to look further into these topics and see what they're all about!
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