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posted by janrinok on Tuesday March 11 2014, @08:13PM   Printer-friendly
from the well-its-worth-a-try dept.

AnonTechie writes:

"Physicist proposes a new type of computing at SXSW (South-by-SouthWest Interactive), known as orbital computing. From the article:

A physicist from SLAC who spoke at SXSW interactive has proposed using the state changes in the orbits of electrons as a way to build faster computers. The demand for computing power is constantly rising, but we're heading to the edge of the cliff in terms of increasing performance - both in terms of the physics of cramming more transistors on a chip and in terms of the power consumption. We've covered plenty of different ways that researchers are trying to continue advancing Moore's Law - this idea that the number of transistors (and thus the performance) on a chip doubles every 18 months - especially the far out there efforts that take traditional computer science and electronics and dump them in favor of using magnetic spin, quantum states or probabilistic logic.

A new impossible that might become possible thanks to Joshua Turner, a physicist at the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, who has proposed using the orbits of electrons around the nucleus of an atom as a new means to generate the binary states (the charge or lack of a charge that transistors use today to generate zeros and ones) we use in computing."

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  • (Score: 2, Informative) by frojack on Tuesday March 11 2014, @09:03PM

    by frojack (1554) on Tuesday March 11 2014, @09:03PM (#14859) Journal

    while improving energy efficiency (no point in wasting energy), to force the software profession to clean up its act.

    This is quite true, the layers on top of layers of code, that modern software is built upon often have humongous inefficiencies built in. Sometimes its because the code has to make allowances for different processors, but a lot of the time it is just crappy code pushed into a library and then everyone is linking it in without giving it a second thought.

    But as to this story, using electron orbits to do computing, isn't Schrodinger turning over in his grave at this point? (To say nothing about his cat...)

    The machinery needed to change an electrons orbit might just be a tweak of energy, but to test the state, well then, that gets tricky...

    No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
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  • (Score: 2) by TheLink on Wednesday March 12 2014, @02:49AM

    by TheLink (332) on Wednesday March 12 2014, @02:49AM (#14997) Journal

    If we are looking for new ways to do computing I think more research needs to be done on more fully understanding how single celled creatures do stuff like create elaborate AND distinctive shells to their species, and how they decide whether to reproduce or not - some don't if there is insufficient shell material for the daughter shell [] )
    See also: []

    We examined shell construction process in P. chromatophora in detail using time-lapse video microscopy. The new shell was constructed by a specialized pseudopodium that laid out each scale into correct position, one scale at a time. The present study inferred that the sequence of scale production and secretion was well controlled.