The material is the on component on which you make the magic happen, where the set of instructions you want to be followed are held, computed and submitted as final and non-definitive answer. Babbage material was limited, we needed a less stressful yet but more abstract material. Scientists, with time, found that almost all operations could be broken to two basic operations (1 the operation is done, 0 no operation). The best material that was able to do that was later discovered to be transistors. So by setting transistors in a certain way on an electronic circuit, one can add, substract, divide, multiply, and store mathematical data.