By Roger Highfield

ISBN-10: 0316054518

ISBN-13: 9780316054515

Can reindeer fly? Why is Santa Claus fats? might scientists clone definitely the right Christmas tree? used to be the famous person of Bethlehem particularly a comet? Why is Rudolph's nostril crimson? How does Santa have the ability to convey provides to an anticipated 842 million families in one evening? What might we do to assure a white Christmas each year? those are one of the questions explored in an irresistibly witty e-book that illuminates the adored rituals, legends, and icons of Christmas from a special and interesting point of view: technology.

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Extra info for The Physics of Christmas: From the Aerodynamics of Reindeer to the Thermodynamics of Turkey

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With the advent of the Internet, the computer has become a communication device. With a video screen and a mouse, it has become a tool for artists, architects, and designers. With growing storage capacity and the growth of information in a digital format, the computer has become a device for archiving information of all kinds. By connecting the computer to sound and video at both the production and receiving ends, it becomes an entertainment device—potentially replacing your CD player, DVD player, television, stereo, and radio.

In 1969, Intel had been creating semiconductors for electronic calculators, among other things, but had no intention of creating a computer. However, in contributing to the chip design of a calculator for a contract with the Busicom Company, Ted Hoth proposed putting more functionality on a single chip, essentially creating a central processing unit (CPU). That chip was named the 4004 for the number of transistors onboard. It was the precursor to the Intel 8008, then 8080, then 8086, then the 80286, 80386, 80486, Pentium, Pentium II, and Pentium 4 chips, and so on to today.

Transistor – A signal amplifier much smaller than a vacuum tube used to represent a 1 (on) or a 0 (off), which are the rudiments of computer calculation; often used as part of an integrated circuit (IC) Hardware took a major leap forward as well. The transistor replaced the vacuum tube. It was far smaller, cooler (meaning cooler in temperature), and cheaper to produce and lasted longer. A form of random access memory (RAM) also became available with the use of magnetic cores. With tape and drum, the magnetic read head could be positioned over the information you wanted.

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The Physics of Christmas: From the Aerodynamics of Reindeer to the Thermodynamics of Turkey by Roger Highfield

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