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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: 4, Interesting) by kodiaktau on Tuesday March 11 2014, @09:07PM

    by kodiaktau (615) on Tuesday March 11 2014, @09:07PM (#14862)

    I am not sure the original article actually specifies the process by which this takes place which is frustrating. On the face of it, the concept that electrons have an "orbit" is patently wrong, electrons don't orbit. orbitals.html [] What those circles actually describe is the energy level of the electron. In fact the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle tells us we cannot know how those work exactly so trying to implement seems like it is premature. Smoke and mirrors.

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  • (Score: 3, Informative) by frojack on Tuesday March 11 2014, @09:33PM

    by frojack (1554) on Tuesday March 11 2014, @09:33PM (#14884) Journal

    Setting an energy level seems pretty easy, it all comes down to adding energy at some point.

    Testing the energy level, now that can be problematic. Heisenberg and Schrodinger both have something to say about the issue.

    No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
    • (Score: 4, Funny) by c0lo on Wednesday March 12 2014, @01:54AM

      by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday March 12 2014, @01:54AM (#14983) Journal

      Heisenberg and Schrodinger both have something to say about the issue.

      Yeah, don;t know about others, but whenever I'm trying to distinguish which of them says what, the meaning of what they say is blown up. And the reverse: if one gets the meaning of what they say, the info on who said it better is lost.
      To make the matter worse, being bosons both, one doesn't get any better if attempting to involve Pauli.

    • (Score: 3, Informative) by stormwyrm on Wednesday March 12 2014, @02:40AM

      by stormwyrm (717) on Wednesday March 12 2014, @02:40AM (#14995) Journal

      This article [] seems to give some more technical detail about what's being discussed than TFA. The way I understand it, it's not a scheme for making actual qubits and a quantum computer, so the exact quantum state of the atoms involved doesn't need to be tested, but for storing and processing classical information.

      Numquam ponenda est pluralitas sine necessitate.