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Atomic Memory

In Pictures: Upcoming Technologies We Want Right Now
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Atomic Memory

Atomic Memory

Imagine if you could store a bit of data--binary zero or binary one--on one individual atom. Now imagine a grain of sand composed of trillions of binary bits of information stored on each atom--a definite far cry from using millions of atoms just to store one bit of data. The idea of atomic memory has been around since the late 1950s, while scientists have been able to move closer to atomic storage during the past 10 years. By 2001, scientists were able to store one bit of data on a single atom, but it had to be shielded from its neighboring atoms by placing it within a five-by-four cell of atoms. The end result took 20 atoms to secure one bit of data. Close, but not the 1:1 ratio scientists eventually want to achieve.

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Top Comments
  • 26 Hide
    maigo , September 24, 2010 6:35 AM
    I think you're missing immortality
  • 17 Hide
    Ramar , September 24, 2010 6:58 AM
    "On the other hand, this could eliminate jobs by making hand-crafted work redundant."

    Shouldn't Tom's, of all people, understand what's wrong with this statement?

    As a starter: Technology and the advancement of our race should take precedence over any particular job field. Sure, the horse-buggy builders had some tough years learning to work at the Ford factory, but that's how life is.

    Great article otherwise though, thanks guys! :) 
  • 15 Hide
    Anonymous , September 24, 2010 7:26 AM
    @Rancifer7 Look up Nikola Tesla's disturbed charge of ground and air system and Wardenclyffe Tower. It's been around for ages but it got buried for financial interests.
Other Comments
  • 26 Hide
    maigo , September 24, 2010 6:35 AM
    I think you're missing immortality
  • 17 Hide
    Ramar , September 24, 2010 6:58 AM
    "On the other hand, this could eliminate jobs by making hand-crafted work redundant."

    Shouldn't Tom's, of all people, understand what's wrong with this statement?

    As a starter: Technology and the advancement of our race should take precedence over any particular job field. Sure, the horse-buggy builders had some tough years learning to work at the Ford factory, but that's how life is.

    Great article otherwise though, thanks guys! :) 
  • -6 Hide
    Rancifer7 , September 24, 2010 7:00 AM
    Quote:
    The concept of wireless energy came about during the late 1800s, while an article featured on Space.com sparked an interest with mainstream media as it discussed wireless energy transfers in space.


    late 1800s..who knew...

    And here I thought the internet and space travel were a more recent thing...
  • 7 Hide
    darthvidor , September 24, 2010 7:13 AM
    I agree on missing out immortality
  • 15 Hide
    Anonymous , September 24, 2010 7:26 AM
    @Rancifer7 Look up Nikola Tesla's disturbed charge of ground and air system and Wardenclyffe Tower. It's been around for ages but it got buried for financial interests.
  • 7 Hide
    micr0be , September 24, 2010 7:28 AM
    very nice article, wish there was more detail about the researches going on
  • -3 Hide
    liquidsnake718 , September 24, 2010 7:42 AM
    Self driving autos would only work on high tech and small cities with all the wifi and proper roads available. The last S class Mercedes had motion sensing rear and front bumpers that would sense an object and would slow the car down via auto brakes, this tech can also be implimented with a smarter cpu and video cameras to tell the actual distance and colors from stop lights, or perhaps can be controlled by the stop light somehow. Thiswould work in an entirely new and modern city or a city like toyko, singapore, New York, or Paris where the roads are linear and is full of tech and cameras.
  • 4 Hide
    Drayeon , September 24, 2010 8:31 AM
    liquidsnake. Check out the Darpa challenges. The one back in 2007 had the vehicles drive over 200 miles. Have other vehicles on the road. And obstacles such as people and various other things that could go on the road. (Fallen tree limbs). The vehicles would either have to reroute to different roads or lose. This took place in rural and urban settings over 200 miles without any support from people.

    If the vehicles could do that then I wonder what they could do now. It is true that really most of whats holding this back is regulation and litigation issues.I wish the Darpa challenges were still being held but, I guess they got what they wanted.
  • -1 Hide
    killerclick , September 24, 2010 10:26 AM
    Yeah, who needs volumetric 3d displays if we know we're going to get old and die. Immortality!
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , September 24, 2010 10:35 AM
    @Drayeon you might also be interested in this event taking place right now http://viac.vislab.it
  • 2 Hide
    jestersage , September 24, 2010 11:00 AM
    Nice article. I particularly like the personal nuke.

    On the topic of immortality, I think we should develop terraforming and other interstellar colonization technologies first.

    This planet is going to get real crowded real fast if nobody dies in the next 10 years.
  • -1 Hide
    Chewie , September 24, 2010 11:10 AM
    At the population density of New York city, we could fit the whole current population of the planet in the area of what used to be Yugoslavia. And even the most depressed parts of Africa have life expectancies about twice what they were 60 years ago. While there's still a long way to go re: preventable deaths due to poverty, progress is being made. Its not all doom and gloom, and we're not even close to running out of space or food yet.
  • -1 Hide
    Onus , September 24, 2010 12:27 PM
    Please skip the "augmented reality." We're already dealing with that now in primitive form, called "targeted advertising." No thanks.
  • 5 Hide
    tommysch , September 24, 2010 12:44 PM
    Self-Driving Automobiles...

    NEVER. You will have to take away my steering wheel from my cold dead hands.
  • 4 Hide
    unrealpinky , September 24, 2010 12:47 PM
    Good God, i hope that we don't discover immortality. Extend life expectancy, definitely, but I certainly don't want to live forever.
  • -2 Hide
    WyomingKnott , September 24, 2010 1:03 PM
    Re: Wireless energy:
    Quote:
    But don't fret--this process isn't harmful to humans, as apparently our bodies don't respond to magnetic fields in a negative way.

    Tell that to the thousands of people passing laws against cell towers near homes, schools, and anyplace else that you might find a human being. I suspect that this will meet enough resistance to discourage Nikola Tesla.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , September 24, 2010 1:16 PM
    Wireless power could be embedded in roads, powering electric cars with a minimal battery, only for off-grid travel or power outages.
  • 0 Hide
    dallaswits , September 24, 2010 1:31 PM
    Implications are a bit frightening.

    Who will police the chemicals within?
    Much harder to control uranium (depleted or otherwise) when a hundred thousand homes have a back yard nuclear gen.


    That being said, the fact that the proposed design runs on depleted uranium is great, it means there is already a layer of "re-use" built into the product, something to to consider when you think about the nearly permanent existence of these chemicals after all reasonable use has been made.
  • 6 Hide
    husker , September 24, 2010 1:36 PM
    unrealpinkyGood God, i hope that we don't discover immortality. Extend life expectancy, definitely, but I certainly don't want to live forever.

    With immortality you wouldn't live forever. You'd either starve to death, be murdered, or die in a traffic accident. People shouldn't assume that the entire human race will suddenly become better behaved and have answers to current problems just because we are immortal. Every problem we have would only get worse.
  • -3 Hide
    bv90andy , September 24, 2010 1:56 PM
    WyomingKnottRe: Wireless energy: Tell that to the thousands of people passing laws against cell towers near homes, schools, and anyplace else that you might find a human being. I suspect that this will meet enough resistance to discourage Nikola Tesla.

    radio, wi-fi, mobile phones radiation =/= Magnetic radiation, totally different frequencies. One can live his entire life with a big magnet attached to his head and he would not have a single problem (except for neck pain), some say it helps with health problems.
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