The term "law," as used
in the sciences, took on very special meaning since the time of
Newton. It has referred to large-scale generalizations that hold
true under all conditions within the over-defining parameters. Newton's
assumptions were the first to meet this general definition. There have
been many others since. But in the classic sense of the word, what was
defined by Moore so many years ago does not constitute a law of nature.
It is a long-term trend.
Moore gave expression to was the most impressive manufacturing trend ever
humanity. What we have been able to do with silicon is overwhelmingly
impressive. It has been so impressive that it has single-handedly
kept the growth of the various world economies going for the last thirty years.
It was at the beginning of this growth that
Moore recognized what was possible, and put out his speculations of
what the future held. Unlike a law of nature, a particular improvement in manufacturing can,
and eventually does,
come to an end.
In this case, it can be argued that the trend may already be at an end. If it is not, it is very close, as will be explained later.