I’m not even a CS student, so this might be a stupid question, but please bear with me...
In the pre-computer era, we can only implement an array data structure with something like an array of drawers. Since one have to locate the drawer with corresponding index before extracting the value from it, the time complexity of array lookup is $O(log(n))$, assuming binary search.
However, the invention of computers made a big difference. Modern computers can read from their RAM so fast that we now consider the time complexity of array lookup to be $O(1)$ (even it’s technically not the case, because it takes more time to move the register over a greater distance, etc)
Another example is Python dictionaries. While one might get a dictionary access complexity of $O(n)$ with an ill-written overloaded
__hash__ magic method (or ridiculously bad luck, i.e. keys having lots of hash collisions), it’s usually presumed to be $O(1)$. In this case, time complexity depends on both the hash table implementation of Python dictionaries, and the keys’ implementation of the hash functions.
Does this imply that hardware/implementation can affect the time complexity of algorithms? (While both examples are about data structures instead of algorithms, the latter are built on the former, and I've never heard of time complexity of data structures, so I'm using the term "algorithms" here)
To me, algorithms are abstract and conceptual, whose properties like time/space complexity shouldn’t be affected by whether they’re implemented in a specific way, but are they?