A Critical Mass Bell Laboratories

The computer common room in Bell Laboratories' six-story brick quarters in Murray Hill, N.J., is strewn with a herd of toy sheep, an assortment of plastic ducks and a glass beaker that contains a Madagascar hissing cockroach. Walking along one of the facility's narrow, institutional-green corridors, Mathematician Ronald Graham effortlessly juggles six spinning white balls. Some days the balls are black. Not long ago, in a nearby office, a shimmying belly dancer tried to perk up a brooding scientist who was convinced that he had lost his zest for research. Since its founding on New Year's Day 1925, Bell Labs--AT&T's peerless...

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