Did Moore’s Law Really Inspire the Computer Age?

A Half Century Ago, Chemist Gordon Moore Made a Prediction—Or Was It a Challenge?—That Became a Narrative for Our Time

In the last half-century, and especially in the last decade, computers have given us the ability to act and interact in progressively faster and more frictionless ways. Consider the now-ubiquitous smartphone, whose internal processor takes just a millisecond to convert a movement of your finger or thumb to a visual change on your screen. This speed has benefits (in 2020, there’s a virtual library of information online) as well as disadvantages (your gaffe can go viral in seconds).

What made the smartphone—and the rest of our unfolding digital transformation—possible? Many …

The Expansion of the Universe Raises Unnerving Questions | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

The Expansion of the Universe Raises Unnerving Questions

Princeton Cosmologist Jo Dunkley Explains Why We Are Always Updating Our Understanding of How We Got Here

Jo Dunkley is a leading researcher into the origins and evolution of the universe and professor of physics and astrophysical sciences at Princeton University. In her work, Dunkley uses the …

The Ornery, Freethinking Astrophysicist Who Helped Start the Space Race | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

The Ornery, Freethinking Astrophysicist Who Helped Start the Space Race

Swiss Émigré Fritz Zwicky Was Pioneer of American Science—Until His Star Fell

When the young physicist Fritz Zwicky arrived in America in 1925, the universe was a tidy place. Some educated people still believed the Sun was at the center of …

The Poetic Clarity of That ‘Pale Blue Dot’ | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

The Poetic Clarity of That ‘Pale Blue Dot’

Through Photography, Science Has Given Humanity a Sense of Itself

When the Voyager 1 space probe was launched in 1977, it was equipped with a camera to chronicle its travels through the cosmos. One of the images that astronomer Carl …

Distrust of Science Is as American as Apple Pie | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Distrust of Science Is as American as Apple Pie

Our Belief in Equality and Passion for Politics Increase Our Suspicion of Expertise

Fifty years ago, on July 20, 1969, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin landed the Apollo Lunar Module and became the first humans to walk on the moon.

It was this …

TK | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Rising Sea Levels Will Leave California With Fewer Beaches—and More Hard Decisions

In the Decades to Come, Some Coastal Homes, Highways, and Ecosystems Will Be Saved, While Others Will Surrender to the Ocean

The Pacific Coast Highway, an iconic symbol of California and vital transportation route, runs along the state’s coastline from Dana Point in Orange County to Leggett in Mendocino County. But …