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Archive for October 2009

Quantum computing takes a quantum leap towards reality

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An entangled state of six photons can form a quantum bit that is highly resistant to noise...

Speedy quantum computing communication takes a quantum leap towards reality.

I have discussed it before: all tech and thus change is accelerated by a version of Moore’s law which is to say some sort of exponential function. Sometimes individual tech gets a boost and does a quantum leap; which fuels the general evolution of other tech.

The problem so far has been that quantum mechanical laws says that just observing a system changes it’s state, and thus a computation is influenced by the computation itself. These things have been resolved, but what was missing, was to make sure that stimuli such as electromagnetic fields would not change the state of the machine.

A group in Stockholm has come up with a solution – click on the picture for the story itself.

Why is quantum computing important? Because they are extremely efficient calculators, tapping into fundamental physics AND adds probabilistic computing power. Whereas current computers are based on transistors and binary answers represented by bits (1 – 0), quantum computers are based on qubits which is basically native vectorized computation.
At the same time the fundamental building block of quantum mechanics is probability – not finite answers. So, a quantum computer will be efficient in solving statistical and probability problems.
Since most real life science heavily relies on modeling reality – a reality where no formula exists, but only an answer from trial and error with coupled differential equations that needs to be calculated with numbers – the promise is that we can solve such models much much faster.
And that’s great news for bio-science (genetics), aerospace, nano-tech, …, engineering where it is impossible to make a formula, but where you need to build a complex set of interconnected differential equations.

This computing power is one of the building blocks we are missing to be able to take quantum leaps in battery technology, gene therapy and many other promising future technologies.

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Written by Bernino Lind

October 8, 2009 at 8:02 am expands in elder care as it buys Gilbert Guide online senior site | VentureBeat

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caring-1 expands in elder care as it buys Gilbert Guide online senior site | VentureBeat.

In the next 10 years – there are some pretty big opportunities in elder care for entrepreneurs. Our population is getting older and older – fewer and fewer are going to take care of more and more social burden. Another market will be when my generation gets political power and realizes that we need to open the borders for development world labor force in order to cope with feeding our elderly population — tools will be needed to manage this migration.

It’s just not sustainable as it is now. There is a pension bomb ticking. We can’t ignore it.

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Written by Bernino Lind

October 7, 2009 at 2:51 pm

Posted in pension

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Photovoltaics follow Moore’s Law

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Photovoltaic module price per watt, 2006 dollars

Photovoltaics follow Moore’s Law from David Leppik.

Most things – not just technology – follow a version 2 of Moore’s law, which is to say that advancement happens with a compounded rate, for example the number series that children like: 2+2 = 4, 4+4=8, 8+8 = 16 … 32, 64, 128, … plot this and you will see a rapid growth curve.

The same is  true for photovoltaic solar panels, the ones that convert the rays of the sun to electric energy, mostly due to advancements in nano-technology.

In 2008, David Leppik argued with his data analysis that the $1 mark will not be reached until post 2020. Moore’s law surprised us and in 2009, the mark was reached (note how progress went the wrong way from 2004 to 2008 in the graph). A quantum leap happened in 2009: “First Solar Passes $1 Per Watt Industry Milestone”

This is important for the future of the world, because there is a tipping point when oil is no longer relevant: the day that the price per watt from oil is more expensive than a convenient substitute. And that happens at about $1. The dream of fusion power is already real: it just happens to be a real big fusion power plant called the sun, that is the reality. Our job is to tap the radiation it sends our way, smiling at us.

The first change is to connect solar photovoltaic power to the utility network grid. That has happened on experimental ways for a long time now. Ones it is a feasible technology, political change won’t be that hard to imagine: after all, who really thinks it is very smart to be dependent on far-away countries ruled by … not so democratic leaders.

Energy is THE source of our productivity. Without it, everything comes to a grinding halt immediately. And with cheaper energy comes revolution.

It will be in our lifetime that energy is no longer a cost nor an environmental issue. It will bring about changes that we cannot imagine; because the cost per watt, with Moore’s law in mind, all things considered will go towards zero, since the sun is an eternal energy source (OK the sun explodes in about 5 million years and becomes a giant red star, but hey, don’t worry). The energy density of the suns rays are so powerful that with existing technology today, the efficiency is min. 20% of incoming energy to electric energy in solar panels. If the Sahara desert was converted to one big solar power plant, it would be capable of powering the worlds TOTAL energy consumption 18 times (barrels of petroleum, cubic meters of natural gas, watts of hydro power, etc.).

Map from Land Art.

Think industrial revolution. It was all about tapping into coal via steam, which made chemical power into mechanical power for cheap. The revolution was not only one which created wealth, higher standard of living – but it also sparked a political revolution, which eventually got rid of feudalism and archaic aristocratic rule. Finally it empowered the building of new tools and technologies, which again gave rise to new technologies, which again… 2+2 = 4, 4+4=8 …

We are at a very very important tipping point.

The next major advancement needed to substitute our existing energy sources with solar power, is battery technology. I will write about that later on, but for now please note a couple of keywords: Ford is producing electric vehicles aggressively, Audi, Toyota, Mitsubishi, Daimler are equally doing just that. Obama is subsidizing battery technology startups and corporate programs aggressively as part of stimulus plan. Part of his plan is that America shall be the leading nation on all things solar in the future.

More interesting background:

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Written by Bernino Lind

October 1, 2009 at 11:43 am