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Physicists and mathematicians in the early twentieth century had established a research program on various random fluctuations. Historical reviews have portrayed this development as a linear progress toward a unified conceptual framework. In this paper, I argue that two approaches were at work....
The modem was created in the context of a US strategic automatic air defense network to transmit data from radar stations over large distances over the existing telephone system. A significant early challenge was how to minimize noise, which was conceptualized in terms of echo effects, impulse...
It is a commonplace for historians to write that physicists came out of their World War II radar experience with microwave engineering superadded to their knowledge of quantum physics. But what exactly was the content of this new amalgam? How fully was it achieved and by what processes?...
Historians of science, technology and medicine have looked at noise in the interwar period in the context of the anti-noise movement, public hygiene and the modern city. I offer a different view, drawing upon distinctions in German between “ Lärm ,” “ Geräusch ,” and “ Rauschen ,”...
The origin and history of Landauer’s principle is traced through the development of the thermodynamics of computation at IBM from 1959 to 1982. This development was characterized by multiple conceptual shifts: memory came to be seen not as information storage, but as delayed information...
In this paper, we examine the history of the idea that noise presents a fundamental limit to physical measuring processes. This idea had its origins in research aimed at improving the accuracy of instruments for electrical measurements. Out of these endeavors, the Swedish physicist Gustaf A....
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