[Vision2020] Newer technology words: memristor and graphene

Kenneth Marcy kmmos1 at frontier.com
Mon Jun 6 11:36:19 PDT 2011

Two newer words naming technologies that are gaining traction in the world are 
memristor and graphene. Though presented together here, they don't necessarily 
have anything to do with one another, though conceivably they might.

Memristor is the name of a new electrical circuit component to accompany 
resistors, capacitors, and inductors. The name is a combination of the words 
memory and resistor, and it refers to a passive two-terminal circuit element 
in which there is a functional relationship between charge and magnetic flux 
linked together. Devices are being developed for application in nanoelectronic 
memories, computer logic, and neuromorphic computer architectures. [1]

Graphene is most easily visualized as an atomic-scale chicken wire made of 
carbon atoms and their bonds. The crystalline or "flake" form of graphite 
consists of many graphene sheets stacked together. Above and beyond its 
ongoing academic research interest, there is a substantial list of useful 
applications for graphene that have been, or could be, developed. Current 
interest in graphene research is shown by the 2010 Nobel Prize in physics 
being awarded to two scientists working on graphene subjects. [2]

Aside from their inherent interest, why should the newer words memristor and 
graphene be of any interest to a local civic affairs mailing list? The answer 
is in the suggestion that both of these words represent emerging technologies 
that might be developed within companies whose operations and economic 
activities might fit well within the local academic and entrepreneurial 
environments. So, for the regional business development people looking for 
clues regarding subject matters with which the firms of the future might 
concern themselves, this is a pair of words providing relevant hints.

[1]  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Memristor 
[2]  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Graphene 


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