Narrator: This is Science Today. In 1965, Gordon Moore, the co-founder of Intel, predicted that the density of transistors on semiconductor chips would double about every 18 months. Raymond LaFlamme, a scientist at the Los Alamos National Laboratory, says this observation, now known as Moore's Law, accurately describes a trend that continues today.
LaFlamme: Every eighteen months, the size of devices are shrinking by a factor of two. And if we look at this trend, it tells us that ten, fifteen years from now the size of computers, or the transistors themselves, will be the size of atoms.
Narrator: Once that happens, the rules used to manipulate information will jump from classical to quantum mechanics. LaFlamme and his group recently manipulated seven atoms to perform a simple computer program - and although a functional quantum computer is still years away, this latest advance seems to be following the flow of Moore's Law.
LaFlamme: So in the future, if you want to have computers which become incredibly much faster than what we have today, we'll have to go also in the quantum regime.
Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.