A new discovery by researchers at Hewlett-Packard Co. has important implications for educators, students, and others who regularly use computers and electronic devices with memory chips.

For nearly 40 years, scientists have speculated that basic electrical circuits have a natural ability to remember things even when the power is switched off. They just couldn't find it. Now HP researchers have proven them right, with a discovery they hope will lead to memory chips that store more data but consume far less power than those found in today's personal computers and other digital devices.

The newly discovered circuit element--called a "memristor," short for


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