Transistors -- the basic building block of the complex electronic devices around you. Literally billions of them make up that Core i7
in your gaming rig and Moore's law says that number will double every 18 months as they get smaller
. Researchers at the University of New South Wales may have found the limit of this basic computational rule however, by creating the world's first single atom transistor. A single phosphorus atom was placed into a silicon lattice and read with a pair of extremely tiny silicon leads that allowed them to observe both its transistor behavior and its quantum state. Presumably this spells the end of the road for Moore's Law, as it would seem all but impossible to shrink transistors any farther. But, it could also points to a future featuring miniaturized solid-state quantum computers.