Science: Tinyvision

During an electronics experiment at Albuquerque's Sandia Laboratories, a scientist accidentally sent a pulse of electricity through a dime-sized ceramic chip. He watched in amazement as the ceramic abruptly changed color. Now, after four years of study and further tests, Sandia experimenters believe that the chance observation may have spawned an entirely new technology that will eventually have wide applications in computers and communications.

In Philadelphia at a meeting of the American Ceramic Society, Ceramist Gene Haertling and Electrical Engineer Cecil Land explained the secret of the ce-ramic's unusual behavior. Tiny crystals in the ceramic—packed some 100 million to the square inch—respond...

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