The content you've requested is available without charge only to active Sigma Xi members and
If you are an active member or an individual subscriber, please log in now in order to access this article.
If you are not a member or individual subscriber, you can:
The basic unit of a computer’s ability to compute is the transistor: a tiny device that acts like a switch to turn a current on and off, representing a “1” or “0” in the computer’s memory. This device has undergone massive transformation since its first incarnation, and it now manufactured by the millions on a single silicon wafer. As Robert Keyes describes, there have been new technologies, such as optical computers, that work well in the lab but cannot take the rigors of mass production. He details why the transistor has outlived many other computing techniques and will likely continue to do so for some time.
Connect With Us:
An early peek at each new issue, with descriptions of feature articles, columns, and more. Every other issue contains links to everything in the latest issue's table of contents.News of book reviews published in American Scientist and around the web, as well as other noteworthy happenings in the world of science books.
To sign up for automatic emails of the American Scientist Update and Scientists' Nightstand issues, create an online profile, then sign up in the My AmSci area.
JSTOR, the online academic archive, contains complete back issues of American Scientist from 1913 (known then as the Sigma Xi Quarterly) through 2005.
The table of contents for each issue is freely available to all users; those with institutional access can read each complete issue.
View the full collection here.
Receive notification when new content is posted from the entire website, or choose from the customized feeds available.