December 12, 2001   

   E-paper coming into view
Electronic paper promises computer displays that you can roll up. Several research teams have made the necessary plastic circuits, but the trick is making them as fast as their silicon predecessors. One speedy prototype shows promise. The next step is actually putting it in a plastic screen.
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Semiconductors control quantum spin
Controlling the direction a quantum particle spins opens the possibility of making superfast computers. Researchers have used magnetic fields to control quantum spin, but a microscopic electronic device similar to a component in your CD player does the job much faster. Better yet, it might serve as the building block of a future computer chip.

Cold electrons crystallize
Flow electrons over liquid hydrogen, freeze them to almost absolute zero and they line up like a layer of ping pong balls on a table to become a solid. These electron crystals could serve as quantum computing hardware.

Neat not always organized
Piling papers on your desk top might be a pretty good way of organizing things after all.

Single molecule drives transistor
Bell Labs researchers have topped their feat of making the key part of a transistor from a single layer of molecules by getting it down to a single molecule. Making a one-molecule transistor is suddenly not so far-fetched.

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