Department of Energy Argonne National Laboratory Office of Science NEWTON's Homepage NEWTON's Homepage
NEWTON, Ask A Scientist!
NEWTON Home Page NEWTON Teachers Visit Our Archives Ask A Question How To Ask A Question Question of the Week Our Expert Scientists Volunteer at NEWTON! Frequently Asked Questions Referencing NEWTON About NEWTON About Ask A Scientist Education At Argonne Developing telecommunications
Name: Mike Spalding
Status: N/A
Age: N/A
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: Around 1995

How do scientists come up with new computers that can reach other countries in a matter of seconds?

Why is it any more surprising to be able to reach other countries (electron- ically) in a few seconds than to reach across the US? In fact, that has been possible since the days of the telegraph, over a hundred years ago. What has changed is the quantity of information that can be simultaneously transferred - first through improvements in the electrical wiring, and then more recently through optical fibers and satellite communications. The people developing all this have not been so much scientists (although scientists were responsible for discovering things like electricity and lasers that make optical fibers possible) but the engineers and other developers at some of the big industrial communications companies. Similar- ly, improvements in computer speed have mostly been through industrial competition rather than scientific innovation. And these new wonderfully fast computers just drive everything else nowadays.

A Smith

Click here to return to the Computer Science Archives

NEWTON is an electronic community for Science, Math, and Computer Science K-12 Educators, sponsored and operated by Argonne National Laboratory's Educational Programs, Andrew Skipor, Ph.D., Head of Educational Programs.

For assistance with NEWTON contact a System Operator (, or at Argonne's Educational Programs

Educational Programs
Building 360
9700 S. Cass Ave.
Argonne, Illinois
60439-4845, USA
Update: June 2012
Weclome To Newton

Argonne National Laboratory