Posts Tagged ‘University College London’

The world ash tree of the computer hardware industry… crystalline silicon from 1854.

Thursday, October 31st, 2013
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The element silicon best represents the digital era of the mid 20th century to the present; without its crystalline form, there would be no computers (or this blog). Although it was first prepared in pure amorphous (powder) form around 1823[1] by Berzelius, it was not until 1854 that Henri Sainte-Claire Deville made it in crystalline form, using metallic aluminium to isolate it. He described it [1] as having a “metallic luster”.

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References

  1. "The discovery of the elements. XII. Other elements isolated with the aid of potassium and sodium: Beryllium, boron, silicon, and aluminum", 1932. http://doi.org/10.1021/ed009p1386

Computers 1967-2013: a personal perspective. Part 5. Network bandwidth.

Wednesday, June 5th, 2013
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In a time of change, we often do not notice that Δ = ∫δ. Here I am thinking of network bandwidth, and my personal experience of it over a 46 year period.

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