November 14, 2009

Nextbigfuture Highlights Week 39-45

This is the sixth set of highlights for Next Big Future for 2009. more will be added later this weekend.

Here is the link to the highlights for weeks 33-38

Here is the link to the highlights for weeks 20-32

Here is the link to the highlights for weeks 13-19

Here is the link to the highlights for weeks 7-12.

Here is the link to the highlights for weeks 1-6


1. Part 4 on understanding the mach effect for space propulsion

Where does the kinetic energy of a Mach-drive vehicle come from?"

Simple, it's the cosmological gravity/inertia or gravinertial field created by the rest of the mass/energy in the universe. This idea is at the heart of Mach's principle as stated by Ernst mach in the late 1800s. In other words when an M-E drive accelerates itself and anything attached to it, the momentum and energy books for this acceleration step are balanced by subtracting the equivalent energy from this cosmological gravinertial field, which IMO, simultaneously lowers the overall temperature of the causally connected universe. So the Mach drive is just an electric motor that has replaced the driving electric and magnetic fields with the gravinertial field as the intermediating agent.

2. Speculation on combining mach effect propulsion and IEC fusion

3. Winterberg's advanced deuterium fusion rocket design

Winterberg's design to obtain a high thrust with a high specific impulse, uses propulsion by deuterium micro-bombs, and it is shown that the ignition of deuterium micro-bombs is possible by intense GeV proton beams, generated in space by using the entire spacecraft as a magnetically insulated billion volt capacitor. The design could have exhaust that is 6.3% of the speed of light. A multi-stage fusion rocket could achieve 20% of the speed of light with exhaust at that speed.

4. 60 Tesla superconducting magnets could allow tests of gravitational field propulsion

5. 32 Tesla YCBO superconducting magnet project targets 2012

6. Blackhole starships

A non-rotating blackhole with a radius of 0.9 attometers has a mass of about 606,000 tonnes and a power output of about 160 petawatts. Over a period of only 20 days a 160 petawatt power source emits enough energy to accelerate 606,000 tonnes up to about 10% the speed of light. Of course, it is unrealistic to suppose that the emitted energy can be converted into kinetic energy with 100% efficiency, but even if the conversion occurs with an efficiency of only 10%, it only takes 10 times longer to deliver the requisite kinetic energy.

7. Achieving the maximum speed with antimatter space propulsion.

8. Water all over the moon in a thin layer, which is probably from the solar wind hitting the lunar soil.

9. EMdrive controversy and work continue

10. EMdrive based flying car could have a demo in 2012 and a design for a hybrid emdrive spaceplane

11. Confirmation of over 100 kilograms of water ice in a lunar crater

12. Two separate billionaire funded companies are working towards space hotels in 2012

13. Megawatt class Vasimr plasma rocket project targets 2013


14. Interview of Geoffrey Fox by Sander Olson. Dr. Fox is an Indiana University Professor of informatics who is the head of Indiana University's Pervasive Technology Institute and Director of the Community Grids Laboratory at Indiana University. He is also the director of the FutureGrid Program. The FutureGrid project is a four year, $15 million project funded primarily by the National Science Foundation to ascertain optimal ways to link supercomputers together

15. Interview with Dr. Itamar Arel interview by Sander Olson. Dr. Arel runs the Machine Intelligence Lab at the University of Tennessee. Dr. Arel believes that "baby" AIs are possible within 3 years and computers with human-level intelligence are feasible within ten. Dr. Arel is further convinced that the individual components necessary for AI have largely been developed, and that building an Artificial General Intelligence (AGI) should cost only $10-15 million

16. Interview with Dr. Steven Armentrout, the CEO of Parabon Computation. Parabon has a unique approach to cloud computing - they do not own or operate any data centers. Rather, they contract out with Universities and other organizations to utilize unused compute cycles from large groups of idle computers. Parabon then leases most of this unused compute power to its customers. A portion of the unused compute power is allocated to Parabon Nanolabs, which designs drugs.

17. Interview, by Sander Olson, with Richard Varvill, the Technical Director and Chief Designer at Reaction Engines Limited. Reaction Engines Limited is a UK company that is developing a fully reusable launch system called Skylon. Skylon is an unpiloted reusable spaceplane that will have a hybrid jet/rocket engine and take off from an airport to achieve orbit. Mr. Varvill believes that Skylon could begin flight testing by 2020, and may eventually reduce launch costs to as low as $5 million per flight

18. David Calkins Interview by Sander Olson

David Calkins is a roboticist who is the President of the Robotics Society of America. He has taught robotics at San Fransisco State University, designed and built hundreds of robots and has worked with NASA on the robotics education project. He recently created a company to produce robots for the home.

There are two embedded videos. The videos are about
* David Calkins on Humanoid Robots
* David Calkins reveals the basics of putting together and programming your very own android

19. Richard Walker interview. Richard Walker is the technical director of Shadow Robotics, which is a British robotics company. Shadow Robotics has developed a dexterous human hand which has capabilities and a range of motion similar to a human hand. The company is also developing other robotic limbs such as arms and legs. The company is now researching embedding intelligence into their hand, as well as putting skin on the limbs. As the cost of robots decreases and the cost of human labor increases, robots will start to become ubiquitous in society.


20. Japan is still working on muon catalyzed fusion and the researchers there have several intersting ideas on how to improve the effectiveness by the 8-25 times needed to achieve commercializable levels. Laser compression of the fuel could improve the effficiency by 4 times and stripping muons from muonic helium atoms could provide another double.

21. Winterberg's metastable superexplosives could help make fusion energy and could also make fusion bombs without a fission trigger.

22. Winterberg compares his Super Marx generator pure deuterium micro-detonation ignition concept to the Lawrence Livermore National Ignition Facility (NIF) Laser DT fusion-fission hybrid concept (LiFE)

Winterberg's super Marx generator would be one hundred ten megavolt marx generators connected in series for gigavolt charge.

23. 3 megavolt marx generator exists at the University of Missouri Columbia and 10+ megavolt marx generators have been built

An 18 megavolt marx generator was built in 1969 and operated to at least 11 megavolts

An l8 megavolt, 1 megajoule Marx generator has been constructed and tested to 11 MV as the primary energy store of the Hermes II flash x-ray machine. It had over 50,000 firings.

24. Liquid nuclear battery can have one million times the energy density of chemical batteries

25. Dense plasma focus fusion introduction video

26. Eight objectives of the focus fusion experiments in 2009 and 2010

27. GE is working on 65% efficient pulse detonation turbine for natural gas power plants


28. Near term prospects for increased longevity from calorie restriction mimicking drugs

29. Long telomeres and rebuilding telomeres linked to living to 100 or more

30. Advances on many fronts to repair spinal cords

31. Modified HIV more effectively deliver gene therapy treatment

32. Biodegradable circuits could enable better neural interfaces and LED tattoos

Computers and Communication

33. 7500 lines of Bug Free Code, A Mathematically Verified Crash Proof Operating System Kernel

Computer researchers at UNSW (University of New South Wales) and NICTA (NICTA is Australia’s Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Centre of Excellence) have achieved a breakthrough in software which will deliver significant increases in security and reliability and has the potential to be a major commercialisation success.

35. Scientists in Bell Labs, the Alcatel’s research arm, have set a new optical transmission record of more than 100 Petabits per second.kilometer (equivalent to 100 million Gigabits per second.kilometer). This transmission experiment involved sending the equivalent of 400 DVDs per second over 7,000 kilometers, roughly the distance between Paris and Chicago. This is the highest capacity ever achieved over a transoceanic distance and represents an increase that exceeds that of today’s most advanced commercial undersea cables by a factor of ten.

36. Magnetcentricity - charge and current of monopoles in spin ice

37. A new digital "electronics" concept is introduced. The concept, called nano-electron-fluidic logic (NFL), is based on the generation, propagation and manipulation of plasmons in a two-dimensional electron gas behaving as an electron fluid. NFL gates are projected to exhibit femtojoule power dissipations and femtosecond switching speeds at finite temperatures. NFL represents a paradigm shift in digital technology, and is poised as a strong candidate for "beyond- CMOS" digital logic.

* Operates with far less heat and more efficient energies (femtojoules)
* Faster switching speeds (femtosecond)
* higher density potential for devices
* Terahertz operating speeds for chips
* Propogation velocity of electron fluid is hundreds of times faster than electrons in current CMOS
* Device construction is compatible with current lithography

38. Xerox paves the way for low cost printable electronics

39. Quantum computer algorithms for speeding solution of linear and differential equations.

40. Eric Drexler comments on the quantum computer algorithm for linear equations and J Storrs Hall talks Artificial Intelligence.

41. Dwave Systems continues to work on commercializing 128 qubit adiabatic quantum computer and should be progressing to larger numbers of qubits in 2010 and beyond

42. Fundamental quantum limits of computing speed

43. Living yeast cells have been coated with silica and should allow control of cells and integration with electronics.

44. First hyperlens for sound waves boost resolution eight times


45. Atomtronic Circuits of Diodes and Transistors

Atomtronics has the goal of developing a one-to-one analogy of electronic systems, components and devices with ultracold atoms trapped in optical lattices It is being researched at the University of Colorado. The Atomtronic Anderson Group of Optical Physics

Their atom-optical analogy to electronic circuits begins with the definition of the `atomtronic battery', which is composed of two reservoirs of ultracold atoms having different chemical potentials (corresponding to different electric potentials at the terminals of a conventional battery). The `wires' and atomtronic components are composed of optical lattices, and current refers to the number of atoms that pass a specific point in a given amount of time.

Atomtronic Diode
The atomtronic diode is a device that allows an atomic flux to flow across it in essentially only one direction. It is made by adding a potential step, which emulates a semiconductor junction (the boundary between p-type and n-type solid-state materials), to an energetically-flat optical lattice

46. Roadmap for additive manufacturing

47. Nanoantennas could enable future multi terabit wireless optical quantum communication

48. DNA origami self assembly of carbon nanotubes into transistors

49. Carbon nanotube fibers hundreds of meters long that if they could be provided with pure metallic carbon nanotubes would enable very low energy loss energy grid

50. Electron spin controlled with electric fields

51. Human genome sequencing cost of materials down to about $1500


52. A list of nextbigfuture ways to mitigate a lot of CO2 and black carbon (soot)


53. Mostly automated driving road trains and modular vehicles


54. singularity summit 2009 videos

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