Could you last a day without your cell phone? As many as 84% of U.S. residents could not, according to a recent poll conducted by Time magazine. It is hard to believe that 20 years ago, hardly anyone even owned a cell phone. And now the cell phone has morphed into something bigger and better—the smartphone. Worldwide, more than one billion smartphones were purchased last year. If you own a smartphone, you are probably aware that in a year or two, it will be practically obsolete, because the smartphone just keeps getting smarter.
In the 1950s, you would have needed a whole bank of computers on an entire floor of an office building to do what you are able to do with a single smartphone today. Even a low-end smartphone has more computing power than the computer system the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) used to put a man on the moon. Amazingly, you can surf the Internet, listen to music, and text your friends with something that fits in the palm of your hand. None of this would be possible without chemistry, and every time you use your smartphone, you are putting chemistry into action.