October 17, 2008

Dwave Quantum Computer 128 qubits Weeks away

CTO of Dwave Systems has mentioned in comments on his site. They will also be showing entanglement related results.

We’re tracking fairly well to our earlier projections in most aspects of the project. Our first cut at a 128 qubit processor (Rainier) is going to glass within the next 2 weeks. I’m going to be talking a little bit about it in the blog over the weeks to come. We are very excited about it as you might imagine. This will be the first version of our designs with on-chip SFQ control. The design is scalable (as hopefully I will be able to describe shortly) so pushing to much larger numbers of qubits should be straightforward subject to fab yield and areal density issues. As far as timing, the next hard results you’ll see from us will be entanglement-related results obtained on the 28-qubit Leda processors, then similar experimental results on the 128-qubit Rainier processors. If the first rev works you’ll see data from Rainier by February 2009. If it doesn’t we have another 128-qubit rev scheduled (Tantalus) with data published by May 2009.

Dwave also hopes to address performance comparisons to classical computers:

We’ve been working on a way to quantify the performance of adiabatic quantum algorithms on this particular 128-qubit chip based on using a quantum monte carlo technique to extract the minimum gap and matrix element between ground & first excited states, pretty much identical to the work described in http://arxiv.org/abs/0803.3971 . We are very close to being able to compare the projected performance of this chip & associated systems apples to apples with classical approaches to solving problems of interest.

This is good news. A bit behind the original roadmap over the next few months but once a solid scalable architecture is proved with entanglement and performance advantage then being able to fill out a mostly empty the die with a lot more working qubits should have quite a large number of qubits. More importantly proving the performance advantage will enable the new solutions and provide a profitable business. Proving entanglement in a peer reviewed paper should prove that this is a quantum computing system.

If the 128 qubit system proves out and the entanglement proof is good, and Dwave gets some paying customers for the computers or their online service that would likely satisfy the long now prediction that I made that there would be a 100 qubit computer.

There will be a quantum computer with over 100 qubits of processing capability sold either as a hardware system or whose use is made available as a commercial service by Dec 31, 2010

Previous articles had reviewed Dwave's evidence of quantum coherence.

This site has written 125+ articles on quantum computers.

7+ articles on adiabatic quantum computers

Pretty went over every Dwave publication and Seth Lloyds original adiabatic quantum computer papers and papers on what if they only get quantum annealing.

Dwave has several scientific papers on the Dwave site, which were discussed in articles written on the Dwave CTO blog and in the previously mentioned articles on this site.

Their strategy is to see if they can make "good enough" qubits and make the kind of quantum computer that they can make now (which is adiabatic) and which should allow for optimization type algorithms to be run. Then make them achieve superior performance for problems of business interest. Use money or funding to iterate make better qubits and more of them.

At the Demonstrations
There was work was done by the device which is their quantum chip. They also used a regular computer to use a regular algorithm to chunk up a larger Soduku puzzle to fit the smaller number of qubits that they had.

However, the device might not have been in a quantum state. If a quantum computing device (in particular the Dwave one) goes out of being quantum then it can still get the right answer via classical annealing.

So there was no scamming-switcharoo going one but it could not be stated clearly how much of the work was being done with a quantum computer in quantum conditions if any. The thing could have solved it in classical mode and you could not tell.

That is where the papers with evidence of some level of quantum coherence and
the expected paper on entanglement come in. Plus the biggest factor which is when
128 qubits or thousands of qubits solve useful problems a lot faster than any classical computer.

That has always been the Dwave position. This thing will only be valuable if it solves real problems a lot faster than classical computers or problems that are unsolvable by classic computers.

Historic Comparison of China versus United States GDP

Nationmaster.com has historical GDP figures from the World Development Bank.

GDP figures by country for 2006

GDP figures for 2007 from the Worldbank

IMF GDP estimates made in 2008 for 2008 through 2013

Currency history can be examined here at oanda.com

China revised GDP growth in 2006 for 1973-2004 with the 2005 economic survey.

Year GDP(yuan) GDP growth.. Yuan/USD. China GDP  US GDP  Japan  China%of US
2000  9.92           8.4    8.27      1.20       9.76    4.65    12.3%
2001  10.6           8.3    8.27      1.32      10.1     4.09    13.1%
2002  11             9.1    8.27      1.45      10.42    3.90    13.9%
2003  13            10.0    8.27      1.64      10.92    4.23    15.0%
2004  15.9          10.1    8.27      1.92      11.68    4.58    16.4%
2005  18.31          9.9    8.1       2.23      12.42    4.53    18.0%
2006  20.94         10.7    7.97      2.67      13.2     4.34    20.2%
2007  24.66         11.9    7.6       3.38      13.8     4.38    24.5%
2008e 27.0           9.6    6.75      3.95      14.3     4.87    27.6%

2000-2004 China increased 34% from 12.3% to 16.4% against the USA and the 2004 economy was 60% larger than 2000. The US GDP increased 19.6% over the same time.

2004-2008 China increased 68.3% from 16.4% to 27.6% against the USA and the 2008 economy is 106% larger than the 2004 economy in US dollars. 2008 China is 68.5% larger in yuan terms than 2004 China. 49.3% would be from the calculated GDP growth and the remainder from some other statistical factor. The US economy increased 22.4% over the same time. The currency has moved about 22.5% [currently 21%, expect some more movement by the end of 2008].

Repeating the 2000-2004 time frame with 34% moves would place China passing the US economy in the 2025-2028 period. However, this would mean the US currency would stabilize at current exchange rates.

Repeating the 2004-2008 time frame with 68.3% moves would place China passing the USA in 2018. The exchange rate would be 4.1 yuan to one US dollar.

Averaging the percentage change would mean 51% changes for each four year period. This would project a 2021 passing date for China.

China could start to grow slower than it did from 2000-2004. The United States seems unlikely to grow faster from 2009-2012 than it did from 2000-2004. China's currency seems likely to continue to strengthen. This site projects China's currency to strengthen at a faster rate than 2004-2008. The Chinese yuan did not start to be partially floated until June 21, 2005. This site believes that China's new economic census which will be done about the end of 2009 will show a 5-8% increase in China's GDP figures. Therefore, the predicted passing year for China is 2017, with 2016 if the currency appreciation is very strong and 2015 only if China has exceptionally strong economic growth, strong currency and the statistical adjustment is maximized and the US economy performance is very bad. This site could see passing date slip to 2021 if China's economic and currency performance is in the lower range of projections and the US economy has very strong growth.

Previous relevant article: China will be a superpower in spite of aging population and pollution.

China's middle class is emerging now

China's urbanization alone will add 70+% of GDP between now and 2020.

China is building out energy, communication and transportation and other infrastructure for a fully modern, environmentally clean and advanced economy.

Projected GDP:
Year GDP(yuan) GDP growth.. Yuan/USD... China GDP China+HK/M US GDP
2009 29.6            9.0    6.2         4.8      5.04        14.3
2010 32.3           10.0    5.6         5.8      6.04        14.4           Past Japan
2011 35.5           9.5     5.1         7.0      7.25        14.7
2012 38.9           9.5     4.7         8.2      8.50        15.2
2013 42.5           9.5     4.5         9.5      9.87        15.6
2014 46.6           9.0     4.2        11.1     11.46        16.1
2015 50.8           9.0     3.9        12.9     13.25        16.6
2016 55.3           8.0     3.7        14.9     15.32        17.1
2017 59.8        7.5      3.6         16.8     17.21        17.6
2018 64.3           7.0     3.4       18.8     19.24        18.1    Past the USA
2019 68.8           7.0     3.3       21.0     21.42        18.7
2020 73.6           7.0     3.1       23.4     23.85        19.2
2021 78.7           6.0     3.1       25.5     26.02        19.8
2022 83.4           6.0     3.0       27.6     28.13        20.4
2023 88.4           5.0     3.0       29.9     30.41        21.0
2024 92.9           5.0     2.9       32.0     32.57        21.6
2025 97.5           5.0     2.8       34.3     34.88        22.3
2026 102.4          5.0     2.8       36.7     37.36        22.9
2027 107.5          5.0     2.7       39.4     40.02        23.6
2028 112.9          5.0     2.7       42.2     42.86        24.3
2029 118.5          5.0     2.6       45.2     45.91        25.1
2030 124.5          5.0     2.6       48.4     49.17        25.8   Close to double the USA

From the Economist, China is not overly export dependent.


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October 16, 2008

Calera Cement Process Details and Operational Pilot Plant and Competitors

Carbon capture and storage (CCS) is one of the main approaches that have been put forward for mitigating climate change.

Norway's Statoil saves hundreds of millions of euro in avoided carbon taxes by using CCS. Since 1996, the Sleipner gas field has stored about one million tonnes CO2 a year. A second project in the Snøhvit gas field in the Barents Sea stores 700,000 tonnes per year.

The production of Portland cement is the third largest source of the world’s carbon dioxide. People generate 27 billion tons of carbon dioxide each year There was 2.35 billion tons of cement used in 2007 and demand is increasing at 130 million tons per year. 1.4 billion tons of cement produced and used in China is 2007. The production of cement generates 1 to 1.2 tons of CO2 per ton of cement or about 2.5 billion tons of CO2.

Calera cement is a startup funded by Vinod Khosla, technology billionaire. Calera's process takes the idea of carbon capture and storage a step forward by storing the CO2 in a useful product. For every ton of Calera cement that is made, they are sequestering half a ton of CO2. Note: this is less than original reports of sequestering one ton of CO2 per ton of Calera Cement. Still this is 75% as good. 50% is from not generating the 1 to 1.2 tons of CO2 to begin with.

Calera Cement Process

Flue gas from coal plants/steel plants or natural gas plants + seawater for calcium & Magnesium = Cement + Clean water + Cleaner Air

The Calera process essentially mimics marine cement, which is produced by coral when making their shells and reefs, taking the calcium and magnesium in seawater and using it to form carbonates at normal temperatures and pressures. "We are turning CO2 into carbonic acid and then making carbonate," Constantz says. "All we need is water and pollution."

The company employs spray dryers that utilize the heat in the flue gas to dry the slurry that results from mixing the water and pollution. "A gas-fired power plant is basically like attaching a jet engine to the ground," Constantz notes. "We use the waste heat of the flue gas. They're just shooting it up into the atmosphere anyway."

In essence, the company is making chalk, and that's the color of the resulting cement: snow white. Once dried, the Calera cement can be used as a replacement for the Portland cement that is typically blended with rock and other material to make the concrete in everything from roads to buildings. "We think since we're making the cement out of CO2, the more you use, the better," says Constantz, who formerly made medical cements. "Make that wall five feet thick, sequester CO2, and be cooler in summer, warmer in winter and more seismically stable. Or make a road twice as thick."

Calera Corporation to use the Monterey Moss landing power plant’s emissions to produce carbon-sequestering cement. Photo by Nic Coury from Monterey County Weekly.

Calera has set up a pilot plant at Moss Landing because California is soon to adopt regulations limiting the amount of CO2 power plants and other sources can emit, and natural gas is the primary fuel of power plants in that state. Calera cement is already using emissions from gas-fired generation as their CO2 source at the pilot plant where we are making up to 10 tons a day.

This site previously covered Calera Cement as having one of the best technologies for dealing with excess carbon dioxide on a large scale while simultaneously enabling more and higher economic growth.

Calera leased a part of the commercial park and began test operations. For now, they’re using simulated flue gas to produce test batches of cement, according to Bose.

Engineers are also designing a pipe to transport waste heat from the power plant. Constantz hopes to tap emissions from 5 megawatts of Dynegy’s production (one-half of 1 percent of the plant’s 1,000-megawatt capacity) before expanding to full production.

Many of the refractory’s leftovers– windowless steel buildings, empty silos, round thickener tanks and 40 acres of dolomite and magnesium hydroxide waste– can be converted to Calera’s use, Bose says. He points out a pipe connecting to nine pumps on the ocean side of Highway 1, each of which can intake 4,000 gallons of seawater per minute. The pumps could provide much of Calera’s required 60 million gallons per day, supplemented by wastewater from the Dynegy plant.

Calera’s own wastewater might come in handy for the planned desalination facility next to the Dynegy plant. “Because we take the calcium and magnesium carbonates out of the water, it’s going to increase the efficiency of desalination by about 70 percent,” Constantz says.

"The construction industry is very conservative," he adds. "It took Portland Cement Association (PCA) about 25 years to get the standards changed to allow 5 percent limestone [in the Portland cement mix]. So things move kind of slowly."

Calera hopes to get over that hurdle quickly by first offering a blend of its carbon-storing cement and Portland cement, which would not initially store any extra greenhouse gases but would at least balance out the emissions from making the traditional mortar.


Hendrik van Oss, a cement comodity specialist with the U.S. Geologic Society, is skeptical. After a few impromptu calculations based on media reports of Calera’s process, van Oss figures the cement would be carbon-neutral at best– neither emitting nor sequestering net CO2.

The chemistry strikes van Oss as improbable. He doubts Calera could harvest enough seawater or waste heat to drive the manufacturing process. And even if it does work, he doubts the resulting mortar would be strong enough for roads or bridges.

“It’s an intriguing flow sheet. The devil might be in the details of how he does it well,” he says. “He will have to ride that chemical line carefully.”

There could be issues getting the necessary permitting in the United States because concern for local marine life. The global environment would not be considered in current US environmental impact studies. China would likely be more accepting and China has ten times more cement demand than the US and will have more coal power.


Carbon Sciences plans to use flue gas and the water leftover after mining operations, so-called mine slime, which is often rich in magnesium and calcium, to create similar cements. They are working on CO2 to fuel as well as CO2 to carbonate.

Halifax, Nova Scotia–based Carbon Sense Solutions plans to accelerate the natural process of cement absorbing CO2 by exposing a fresh batch to flue gas. And a number of companies are working on reducing the energy needs of Portland cement making. The key will be ensuring that such specialty cements have the same properties and the same or lower cost than Portland cement, says Carbon Sciences president and CEO Derek McLeish.

University of Calgary climate change scientist has developed a machine capable of removing CO2 from the air.

Directly extracting CO2 from regular air not from smoke stack polluted air. The custom-built tower captures CO2 directly from the air while requiring less than 100 kilowatt-hours of electricity per tonne of carbon dioxide.

The proposed air capture system differs from existing carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology, which is already a contributing factor in the strategy of federal governments as they strive to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

For example, while CCS involves installing equipment at, say, a coal-fired power plant to capture CO2 produced during the coal-burning process before then piping the emissions for permanent underground storage in a geological reservoir, air capture machines will be able to literally remove the CO2 present in ambient air everywhere.

In applying the technology, Keith offers that: “A company could, in principle, contract with an oilsands plant near Fort McMurray to remove CO2 from the air and could build its air capture plant wherever it’s cheapest -- China, for example -- and the same amount of CO2 would be removed.”

In demonstrating the technology in practice, Keith and his team used a custom-built tower to capture CO2 directly from the air while requiring less than 100 kilowatt-hours of electricity per tonne of carbon dioxide. The tower unit was able to capture the equivalent of approximately 20 tonnes per year of CO2 on a single square metre of scrubbing material -- which amounts to the average level of emissions produced by one person each year in North America.

Peswiki entry on Calera Corporation

Peswiki entry on CO2 Sequestration.

Superconductor with critical temperature over 200K

The 200K superconducting material contains only inexpensive and non-toxic elements, a method of refinement to increase its volume fraction is now all that is required for it to become the first commercial superconductor capable of operating at dry ice temperatures.

Superconductors can radically reduce the size of engines and increase engine efficiency and enable many new technologies. For the last few decades what has prevented this is the high cost of superconductors, the cost of lowering the temperature to a level where superconductors can operate and production limitations.

This new superconductor should greatly expand the uses for superconductors and the continued progress with better superconducting materials suggest that room temperature superconductors could be developed in the near future.

Synthesis of these materials was by the solid state reaction method. Stoichiometric amounts of the below precursors were mixed, pelletized and sintered for 11 hours at 890C. The pellet was then annealed for 10 hours at 500C in flowing O2.

The 200K material is believed to have a B212/1212C intergrowth structure, where B=11 and C=copper chain. This structure is shown below left and has the chemical formula Sn6Ba4Ca2Cu10Oy. The general formula for this new family of superconductors is SnxBa4Ca2Cu(x+4)Oy. Within this new family, unit cells with 3 to 6 atoms of tin (x) have been found to superconduct, with 6 atoms of tin producing a new record high Tc near 201K.

Four resistance tests were averaged and four magnetization tests were averaged, producing a mean resistive Tc of 200.8 Kelvin and a magnetic Tc of 202.4 Kelvin.

The discovery is by a lone inventor and has not been peer reviewed yet.

Joe Eck the inventor/scientist and his website are well cited by universities and other sources.

Previous superconducting discoveries have all had patents applications made. The inventor seems to be in correspondence and having his work followed by scientists at Los Alamos and other respected institutions.

Reviewing the Many Superconducting Developments in 2008

The formula for the 195K superconductor is (Sn1.0Pb0.5In0.5)Ba4Tm6Cu8O22+. Its 1256/1212 structure is shown.

A new method of production was developed. This new method of synthesis, layers of 12x(x+1) and 1212 precursors are alternated in a "layer cake" arrangement before sintering. Each layer was initially pressed at 200 psi. Then, once all the layers were set, the entire pellet was pressed at 70,000 psi and sintered in the UPRIGHT position. When sintered in the "sideways" position, very little of the desired phase forms. This suggests gravity facilitates migration of the heavy thulium atoms. This technique results in the desired phase forming along interference boundaries.

Ten times more 185K superconducting material was made and detectable amounts of 195K material.

The 195K material is being patented. But the new method of synthesis is being released into the public domain without patent protection. It may be used freely without limitations. When combined with the Tao Electrostatic Separation Technique, this method should be able to produce a near homogenous 195K bulk superconductor

NOTE: this was a highly systematic process to modify the makeup of the material to find a higher criticial temperature structure.

The number of families of superconducting material is providing more points of data for creating unified theories for all superconductors. Successful unified theories would be able to guide the experimentalists even better on optimal doping strategies and changes to the structures to tune the various properties of the superconductors. This could allow rapid progress to the creation of room temperature superconductors and material for moving higher energy density and optimizing many other useful properties.

There is also a low energy model and electron pockets hole model

This year has seen excellent experimental progress being made to room temperature (300K) superconductors as well as theoretical progress. There has also been the whole new class of higher temperature iron based superconductors.

Getting up to dry ice temperatures will lower the cost of using the superconductors because the cooling problems will be greatly simplified. It gets us closer to the goals of room temperature superconductors and some of the applications could be possible with dry ice. Even the superconductors that need a lot more cooling are being used for more efficient engines and generators that are three times smaller than conventional. There has also been a commercial pilot of superconducting cable for electric utility distribution. Superconductors can also make better magnets for nuclear fusion reactors.

It appears that dry ice cooling temperatures are two to seven times cheaper than liquid nitrogen temperatures.

BBC News talked about that anticipated but delayed vision from the hoped for results from the 1987 "warmer" superconducting breakthroughs.

Levitating high-speed trains, super-efficient power generators and ultra-powerful supercomputers would become commonplace thanks to a new breed of materials known as high temperature superconductors (HTSC).

Those difficult to manipulate superconductors have been on track to make smaller and more efficient motors with commercial impact in 2010 South Korea was making significant advances with 1300hp superconducting generators.

They were also being tested in 36.5 MW motors for navy ships.

Electric car motors would shrink to be one third the size for the same power by using superconducting wire. Similar to the previously mentioned improvement for the large superconducting motors of navy ships. It is more difficult to make a cost efficient superconducting small motor.

If room temperature superconductors were cheap to make they could replace batteries and also the need for a car engine by storing the power to run the car. Currently this is cost prohibitive. Wikipedia has an article on superconducting magnetic energy storage

Here was a more recent list of predictions of what "warm" superconductors that we had before the most recent two announcements could provide. 100Tbps routers, faster communications, faster computers, better sensors and more. Room temperature versions would make all of these things cheaper, more widespread and more powerful.

If the new room temperature superconductors have or can be made to have a very high current density relative to their weight, then there is the possibility of a ground launched magnetic sail or high performance magnetic sails for space propulsion.

31 page pdf of the 1999 Zubrin study for Nasa on magnetic sails

Getting up to 100 billion to 1 trillion or more amperes per cubic meter is the current density for high performing magnetic sails.

D.G. Andrews and R.M. Zubrin, "Magnetic Sails and Interstellar Travel." Journal of the British Interplanetary Society, 1990. The first paper published, concerned primarily with the cost savings to other propulsion systems from the use of the magsail as an interstellar brake.

R.M. Zubrin and D.G. Andrews, "Magnetic Sails and Interplanetary Travel." Journal of Spacecraft and Rockets, April 1991. The technical description and very thorough analysis of the magsail for interplanetary travel. Excellent.

R.M. Zubrin, "The Magnetic Sail." Analog Science Fiction & Fact, May 1992. A version of the above paper edited for a non-technical audience. Useful for general concepts, inadequate for a full understanding.

Uses of cheaper versions of current superconductors.

Electrostatic Separation Technique for Superconductors is described here. This technique will work to separate superconductors from metallic as well as non-metallic materials.

In the electrostatic separation technique, a vertical capacitor cell with dimensions 18mm X 15mm X 15mm was fashioned from a U-shaped teflon spacer. 2 brass plates were attached to the open sides of the spacer to create a cavity and provide electrodes for the capacitor. The cavity was filled with liquid nitrogen and particles of roughly 25-38um size were placed in the pool. High voltage (1100 dcv/mm) was applied to the two metal electrodes for at least two minutes. The electric field was then reduced (to 333 dcv/mm) for one minute. After collecting the respective particles, they were found to be essentially pure BSCCO and pure Sb.

Crude oil traded below $70 a barrel

Light Sweet Crude oil traded below $70 a barrel today.

The current reprieve from high energy costs should be used to aggressively pursue an effective energy policy.

This site has discussed effective energy plans.

Energy Technology Plan
This site has proposed an energy plan with a greater focus on applying better energy technology. The plan is not solely focused on CO2 emissions.

Short term
Efficiency and drilling for regular and enhanced recovery, policy that discourages coal and fossil fuel and encourages nuclear and renewables. Try to reduce fuel usage 2-4% per year and try to increase oil from drilling and biofuels by 3-6% per year.

Accelerate the development and deployment of inflatable electric cars and adapting cars like the $2500 Tata nano to be plug in electric vehicles.

Accelerate the development and deployment of new building technology like Calera cement which removes one ton of CO2 for each ton of cement instead of adding one ton of CO2 to the air. If all cement worldwide were able to use this then instead of adding 2.35 billion tons of CO2/year there would be a removal of 2.35 billion tons.

Encourage the adoption of electric bikes and scooters. China has 80 million and is building 21 million per year. Electric scooters can reach highway speeds and folding e-bikes can be rolled onto public transit.

Build the factory mass producible meltdown proof high temperature nuclear reactors. Accelerate the factory mass producible Hyperion power Uranium hydride reactor. [currently targeting 2012 deployment]

Build the Fuji Molten salt reactor which can use thorium and can burn 99% of the thorium, uranium and plutonium which only leaves 30 year half life material.

Mid Term
Big nuclear buildup and thermoelectric and transmission efficiency Triple nuclear power by 2020 by using new (MIT annular nuclear fuel can increase power by 50% for existing reactors) uprate technology and advanced thermoelectrics and some new plants. (25% of all energy from nuclear instead of 8.2% and 17% less fossil fuel. First reduce coal first - 30,000 deaths from coal air pollution, 60,000 deaths from combined coal [over 13 times all US forces deaths from the current Iraq war] and fossil fuel air pollution in the USA. Plus moving 1.2 billion tons of coal is 40% of freight rail traffic and 10% of diesel fuel usage.) Can get up to six times more nuclear by 2030. Displace all coal and a lot of oil.

Mid-Long Term
Very advanced nuclear fission and nuclear fusion and better renewables (geothermal, wind [kitegen, superconducting wind turbines], solar [concentrated solar in municipal or rural power configurations. My favorite is CoolEarth's solar balloons], genetically modified organisms for biofuel)

Also part of the near term steps, but which would not likely have impact until the mid-term is to fully fund the best nuclear fusion power generation possibilities. Create policies to accelerate research and deployment.

Time to Small Cost to Achieve Large scale chance
Concept Description Scale net energy Net Energy after small success Funded?

Plasma Focus 6 years $1M+ Sales X-scan 80% Y, $1.9m
Focus fusion website
Focus fusion US patent application
Working on a funded experiment with Chile 2006-2010

Bussard IEC Fusion 3-5 years $200 million 90% Y, $2m
My intro to Bussard fusion and update on prototype work

Tri-alpha Energy aka 8 years $75 million 60% Y, $50m
Colliding Beam fusion aka
Field Reversed Configuration
My review of the academic research before the funded stealth project

General Fusion aka 3-6 years $10-30 million 60% Y, $2m
Magnetized target fusion
Steam generated shock wave into spinning liquid metal

Multi-pole Ion beam
version of Bussard IEC 3-5 years $200 million 90% N
FP generation MIX IEC fusion

Koloc Spherical Plasma 10 years $25 million 80% N (self)
Attempt to create stable ball lightning plasma balls
In 2004, trying to generate 30-40cm plasma spheres

There should be a Darpa of energy created to fund high risk and high return energy technology.

October 15, 2008

Pill-size to bacteria sized robots for surgery and in-body therapies

In 2001, the FDA approved the use of capsule endoscopy, which uses a capsule size camera [1.2 inches long by 0.4 inches in diameter]. These are passive systems. There is work to make smaller robotic systems and systems that can perform more of the capabilities of regular endoscopes. These capabilities include therapeutic and diagnostic operations such as ultrasound, electrocautery, biopsy, laser, and heat with a retractable arm.

1. Scientists at the Technion University, teamed with a researcher from the College of Judea and Samaria, have developed a miniature robot that can move within the bloodstream.

The miniature robot has been planned and constructed (2007), that has the unique ability to crawl within the human body's veins and arteries," said Dr. Nir Shvalb of the College of Judea and Samaria. The Israeli robot's diameter is one millimeter.

The researchers stress that the project is an "interesting development, but it has a long way to go before it is used in medicine." Solomon says that the tiny robot could be controlled for an unlimited amount of time to carry out any necessary medical procedure. The power source is an external magnetic field created near the patient that does not cause any harm to humans but supplies an endless supply of power for it to function. The robot's special structure enables it to move while being controlled by the operator using the magnetic field.

2. Sylvain Martel, Montreal, Canada, has made great progress towards micro-robots and nanorobots in the body.

A research team led by Prof. Sylvain Martel of Ecole Polytechnique de Montreal (EPM) in Canada demonstrated for the first time the feasibility of automatically navigate an untethered object in the blood vessels of a living animal. During the experiment, a 1.5 mm ferromagnetic bead was navigated without human intervention at an average speed of 10 cm/s in the carotid artery of a 25 kg living swine placed in a 1.5 T magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) system. (Journal Applied Physics Letters, March 12, 2007).

Dr Martel and his colleagues are also working with "magnetotactic" bacteria, which orient themselves with magnetic fields.

Magnetic bacteria drive micromotors and other devices

Because they are so tiny (only about two micrometres across), they are not strong enough to swim against the blood flow of larger vessels, though they are able to swim through vessels as little as four micrometres in diameter. Dr Martel's idea is to use the larger magnetic beads to transport the bacteria close to a tumour, and then release them and coax them, using applied magnetic fields, to swim to the tumour and deliver a therapeutic payload. Preliminary experiments in rats suggest that the bacteria can be steered toward tumours using specially designed magnetic coils.

Bacterial reservoirs acting as bacterial engines are 90 μm × 54 μm, and 90 μm × 186 μm (length × width). Silicon MEMS microrobots consist of a die containing micro-reservoirs that shelter magnetotactic bacteria to form a bacterial propulsion system.

Sylvain Martel, Computer Engineering & Software Engineering, École Polytechnique Montréal: "Towards Intelligent Bacterial Nanorobots Capable of Communicating with the Macro-World

3. Paolo Dario is making a pill-cam with legs and is working on assembling a mini-operating room inside the body.

Researchers on an ambitious project called ARES (short for Assembling Reconfigurable Endoluminal Surgical system). Its objective is to design a modular gastrointestinal robot made up of individual pieces that are small enough to be swallowed, one at a time. Once inside the stomach, the idea is that these pieces will assemble themselves into a larger robotic device. The aim is to build an "operating room" inside a patient that can be controlled from the outside by a doctor, says Dr Dario, who is co-ordinating the project.

4. Scientists from the Institute of Robotics and Intelligent Systems at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zurich plan to steer tiny robots inside the eye for sensing, drug delivery and surgery. Current retinal procedures to repair detachments or rips, for example, may involve several incisions in the eye and stitches to tie off the perforated areas.

The Institute of Robotics and Intelligent Systems also has extensive nanorobotics work.

5. James Friend, co-director of the Micro/Nanophysics Research Laboratory at Monash University near Melbourne, Australia, is building a flagella-inspired micro-motor he hopes will one day propel a micro-robot through an artery or vein. At the core of the motor are piezoelectric materials—special crystals or ceramics that change shape very slightly in the presence of an electric field. When such a material is placed in a rapidly alternating electric field, it starts to vibrate. That vibration can then be coupled to another structure to turn a rotor, which in turn operates a flagellum-like tail. In recent years Dr Friend has built successively smaller versions of his motor—the current version is 250 micrometres in diameter. Providing an on-board power supply is difficult, however, so he is investigating the use of external magnetic fields to power the device.

6. Metin Sitti, director of Carnegie Mellon University's (CMU) NanoRobotics Lab in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, is using bacteria as biological motors to propel small spheres through fluids. Instead of relying on an external system for controlling their movements, Dr Sitti and a colleague use chemical signals to tell the bacteria what to do. In recent experiments they proved that they could stop and start the bacteria's flagella simply by exposing them to two different kinds of substances.

CMU is working ona a truly microscale (characteristic length of the robot doesn't exceed 100 um) swimming robot

Current Status of the micro-swimmer:Bacteria, only 0.5 um in diameter and 2 um long, are propelled by rotating their corkscrew like tails known as flagella at very high speed (~ 300 Hz). These flagella are only 20 nm in diameter and are about 10 um long. Here, S. marcescens bacteria are attached to Polystyrene (PS) microspheres via electrostatic, van der waals and hydrophobic interactions. As the attached bacteria rotate their flagella they push the microsphere forward. The on/off motion of the microspheres is controlled by introducing different chemicals into the experimental environment. To stop the motion, copper ions are introduced. These ions bond to the rotor of the flagellar motor and prevent its motion. To resume the motion we introduce another chemical called ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA), which traps the copper ions attached to the rotor of the flagellar motor, allowing it to resume its motion.

CMU is also working on magnetically actuated micro-robots.

Summary of small robots for in body medicine at the Economist magazine

What is Poverty and Using Technology to Reduce Global Poverty

What is poverty ?

The state of being poor; lack of the means of providing material needs or comforts.

What is global poverty ?

From the World Bank:
Poverty is hunger. Poverty is lack of shelter. Poverty is being sick and not being able to see a doctor. Poverty is not having access to school and not knowing how to read. Poverty is not having a job, is fear for the future, living one day at a time. Poverty is losing a child to illness brought about by unclean water. Poverty is powerlessness, lack of representation and freedom.

Tracking progress and the efforts to combat poverty

Tracking the 2000 Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), a set of eight globally agreed development goals with a due date of 2015. Halfway to 2015

* Though the overall aid landscape is expanding, official development assistance (ODA)—estimated at $103.7 billion in 2007—has stalled. To meet the G8 promises to increase aid by $50 billion by 2010, ODA must expand. Meanwhile, new donors like China and India are growing in size and importance.
* Growth momentum will have to be sustained and broadened in developing countries in the face of financial turmoil.
* The number of people living on under $1/day in the developing world declined by 278 million between 1990 and 2004, and a stunning 150 million in the last 5 years of that period.
* Rapid progress is possible. Vietnam reduced poverty from 58 percent in 1993 to 16 percent in 2006.
* Forty million more children are in school and gender disparity in primary and secondary schools has declined by 60 percent, but 75 million children remain out of school.
* Every year, three million more children survive, and 2 million lives are saved by immunization. But every week, 10,000 women still die from treatable complications of pregnancy and birth, and over 190,000 children under five are lost to disease. Two million people now receive AIDS treatment, but about the same number die every year of the disease, and over 33 million are infected with HIV.
* The economic burden of environmental health hazards is estimated at 1.5 to 4 percent of GDP. Worldwide, environmental risk factors play a role in 80 percent of diseases, including malaria, diarrhea, and respiratory infections. A child dies of malaria every 30 seconds.
* A billion people lack reasonable access to safe drinking water and 2.6 billion people (40 percent of the world population) do not have access to basic sanitation. Meeting the water and sanitation targets will require doubling the current annual investment to about $30 billion. The UN estimates that by 2030, developing countries will need $100 billion annually to finance mitigation and $28-$ 67 billion for adaptation.
* A third of the developing world’s population—1.6 billion people—lack access to modern energy, and are forced to rely on carbon-emitting biomass and fossil-fuel energy.
* In 2007, gross concessional flows from multilateral development banks crossed $12 billion, a 10.3 percent increase driven by the International Development Association (IDA). While Asia continued to receive almost half of these flows, Africa received 45 percent in 2007, up from 37 percent in 2000.

Technology for Food, Water, Energy, Economic Growth, Disease prevention and Education

Genetically modified fish are an important and successful technology that China uses with fish farming to get more animal protein for people. It is more efficient than raising other animals for food. Sequencing of rice to determine how to raise rice yields is also key. Plants take less water and energy to grow than meat.

Desalination and improved water purification and filtering are making progress and are needed to provide clean water for more people. Better clean water technology is about getting systems to where they are needed and lowering the costs in energy and money.

Better nanomembranes seems like the best way to reduce the costs in energy and money for large scale water systems.

Dean Kamen has a promising system for cleaning water and generating energy.

The World Health Report form 2002 shows that :

40 per cent of global deaths are due to just the10 biggest risk factors, while the next 10 risk factors add less than 10 per cent,” says Alan Lopez, Ph.D., WHO Senior Science Advisor and co-director of the Report. “This means we need to concentrate on the major risks if we are to improve healthy life expectancy by about 10 years, and life expectancy by even more.”

Iron deficiency: Iron fortification is very cost-effective in areas of iron deficiency. It involves the addition of iron usually combined with folic acid, to the appropriate food vehicle made available to the population as a whole. Cereal flours are the most common food vehicle, but there is also some experience with introducing iron to other vehicles such as noodles,rice, and various sauces.

The most cost effective strategy to reduce under-nutrition and its consequences combines a mix of preventive and curative interventions. Micronutrient supplementation and fortification - Vitamin A, zinc and iron – is very cost-effective. It should be combined with maternal counselling to continue breast feeding, and targeted provision of complimentary food as necessary. In addition, routine treatment of diarrhoea and pneumonia, major consequences of under-nutrition, should be part of any health improvement strategy for children. Childhood and maternal underweight was estimated to cause 3.4 million deaths in 2000, about 1.8 million in Africa. This accounted for about one in 14 deaths globally.

WHO estimates that tobacco caused about 4.9 million deaths worldwide in 2000, or 8.8 per cent of the total, and was responsible for 4.1 per cent of lost DALYs (59.1 million). The most cost effective high impact solution is anti-smoking campaigns.

Allow wider scale safe use of nuclear energy.

The Copenhagen Consensus has a list of what they believe are the most cost effective solutions for world problems.

The expert panel of 8 economists, including 5 Nobel Laureates, ranked the list above in May 2008 in Copenhagen.

October 14, 2008

Quantum Key communication 100 times faster, tunable Josephson metamaterial

1. Toshiba Research Europe Ltd, a company belonging to the Toshiba group, achieved a quantum key data transmission speed of 1.02Mbps at a distance of 20km, which is 100 times faster than conventional speeds.

Also, a speed of 10.1Kbps was demonstrated at a transmission distance of 100km, according to the company. This was made possible by adopting an APD (avalanche photo diode), which is usually used for optical communication, as a single photon detector and enhancing the drive frequency of the detector to more than 100 times higher than the conventional frequency, Toshiba said.

Items 2 through 4 are from Nature Physics advanced online publication:

In the JILA/NIST “noiseless” amplifier, a long line of superconducting magnetic sensors (beginning on the right in this colorized micrograph) made of sandwiches of two layers of superconducting niobium with aluminum oxide in between, creates a 'metamaterial' that selectively amplifies microwaves based on their amplitude rather than frequency or phase. Credit: M. Castellanos-Beltran/JILA

2. Amplification and squeezing of quantum noise with a tunable Josephson metamaterial could increase the speed and precision of quantum computers.

M. A. Castellanos-Beltran, K. D. Irwin, G. C. Hilton, L. R. Vale & K. W. Lehnert

It has recently become possible to encode the quantum state of superconducting qubits and the position of nanomechanical oscillators into the states of microwave fields. However, to make an ideal measurement of the state of a qubit, or to detect the position of a mechanical oscillator with quantum-limited sensitivity, requires an amplifier that adds no noise. If an amplifier adds less than half a quantum of noise, it can also squeeze the quantum noise of the electromagnetic vacuum. Highly squeezed states of the vacuum can be used to generate entanglement or to realize back-action-evading measurements of position. Here we introduce a general-purpose parametric device, which operates in a frequency band between 4 and 8 GHz. It adds less than half a noise quantum, it amplifies quantum noise above the added noise of commercial amplifiers and it squeezes quantum fluctuations by 10 dB.

Azonano has more information on the new quantum amplifier

3. Entanglement theory and the second law of thermodynamics.

Fernando G. S. L. Brandão & Martin B. Plenio

Entanglement is central both to the foundations of quantum theory and, as a novel resource, to quantum information science. The theory of entanglement establishes basic laws that govern its manipulation, in particular the non-increase of entanglement under local operations on the constituent particles. Such laws aim to draw from them formal analogies to the second law of thermodynamics; however, whereas in the second law the entropy uniquely determines whether a state is adiabatically accessible from another, the manipulation of entanglement under local operations exhibits a fundamental irreversibility, which prevents the existence of such an order. Here, we show that a reversible theory of entanglement and a rigorous relationship with thermodynamics may be established when considering all non-entangling transformations. The role of the entropy in the second law is taken by the asymptotic relative entropy of entanglement in the basic law of entanglement. We show the usefulness of this approach to general resource theories and to quantum information theory.

4. Reliable neuronal logic devices from patterned hippocampal cultures. Cultures of living neurons are patterned in a way to form functional logic devices.

Ofer Feinerman, Assaf Rotem & Elisha Moses

Functional logical microcircuits are an essential building block of computation in the brain. However, single neuronal connections are unreliable, and it is unclear how neuronal ensembles can be constructed to achieve high response fidelity. Here, we show that reliable, mesoscale logical devices can be created in vitro by geometrical design of neural cultures. We control the connections and activity by assembling living neural networks on quasi-one-dimensional configurations. The linear geometry yields reliable transmission lines. Incorporating thin lines creates 'threshold' devices and logical 'AND gates'. Breaking the symmetry of transmission makes neuronal 'diodes'. All of these function with error rates well below that of a single connection. The von Neumann model of redundancy and error correction accounts well for all of the devices, giving a quantitative estimate for the reliability of a neuronal connection and of threshold devices. These neuronal devices may contribute to the implementation of computation in vitro and, ultimately, to its understanding in vivo.

Japanese Technology Update: carbon storage, thermoelectrics, super high vision TV and more

Current Nikkei Business tech news and highlights from the August 2008 report on japanese research and innovation from the UK Embassy in Japan.

1. Furukawa Co Ltd plans to deploy a thermoelectric device for capturing 7% of the waste heat in car exhaust within 3 years.

Furukawa used the latest material to prototype a thermoelectric conversion module measuring 50 (W) x 50 (D) x 8mm (H). The company evaluated the module under conditions where its upper surface (higher temperature side) reached 720°C, while the lower surface (lower temperature side) is 50°C. With respect to the thermoelectric conversion performance, the results of the experiment indicated that the module has a thermoelectric conversion efficiency of 7% and an output of 33W (power density of 1.3W/cm2).

The ZT value of (Yb, Ca, Al, Ga, In)0.9(Co, Fe)4Sb12, which is an n-type material, increased from 0.7 to 1.3. From a practical standpoint, the material is expected to be applied to wider areas because the ZT values of both p- and n-types exceed 1 in a wide temperature range of 350-550°C.

2. Victor Company of Japan Ltd (JVC) showcased a front-projection projector with about 35 million pixels able to display Super High Vision. (8,192 × 4,320). Shown at CEATEC JAPAN 2008.

Super High vision is 16 times higher resolution than HD television and the industry hopes to transition to it from 2015-2025.

3. MHLW to establish research centre for pandemic flu
The Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare (MHLW) will set up a research centre dedicated to develop vaccines and drugs to treat pandemic influenza. The new centre, to be established at the National Institute of Infectious Diseases (NIID), will promote research into commercialisation of a ‘cell culture method’ that Japan claims is needed to mass-produce pandemic vaccines for the entire population within six months from the outbreak of a pandemic. For fiscal 2009, MHLW has requested a total of 598 billion yen (GBP284 million) in measures against pre-pandemic influenza, up more than 9 times from this year’s actual budget. It also plans to increase the stockpiles of Tamiflu and Relenza. The current stockpiles can cover 23% of the public, but MHLW aims to increase the percentage to 45%, an equivalent to the US and Europe. (27 August 2008, Nikkei Sangyo Shimbun)

4. Sony ramping lithium ion battery by 80% by the end of 2010
Sony has decided to invest 40 billion-yen (GBP 200 million) in lithium-ion battery research in two domestic factories over the next three years. Sony seeks to facilitate manufacturing capabilities up to 80% by the end of 2010. For this aim, Sony will establish a new factory to produce electric power tools in Fukushima, as well as to increase assembly lines of electric cells in its Tochigi factory. Sony will also try to conduct mass production of batteries for mobiles in Singapore and China. (5 August 2008, Nikkei Shimbun)

5. Nippon Oil to mass-produce residential fuel cells
Nippon Oil will embark on the mass-production of fuel cells systems for households. The company will invest 10 billion yen (GBP 50 million) in introduction of production equipment in a factory owned by their business partner Sanyo. They plan to have an annual production capacity of 10,000 units in 2009 and 40,000 by 2015. Other companies such as Panasonic and Toshiba also plan the start of mass-production, which is expected to accelerate cost reduction and expansion of the market. (2 August 2008, Nikkei Shimbun)

6. Japanese Government will conduct a major research project on CCS (carbon capture and storage)
Japanese Government will fund a large-scale experimentation on CCS which will be undertaken by industry consortium Japan CCS, aiming to be put into practical use by 2011. CO2 from a coal-fired power plant with capacity of 250,000KW at Clean Coal Power Research Institute in Iwaki City, Fukushima Prefecture, will be separated and collected for pipeline transportation to natural gas fields which can store more than 20 million tons of CO2, 70km offshore from the plant. The New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organisation (NEDO), a public funding agency for industries, will fund for 230 million yen (GBP1 million) this year. The estimated cost for the whole project would be around 500 billion yen (GBP2.5 billion), and the government will provide most of the financial support. (19 August 2008, Nikkei Shimbun)

7. MHI to design the world largest carbon capture system
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) announced that they received an offer form Norwegian Gassnova for the Front End Engineering and Design (FEED) of a large-scale facility to capture carbon from a power plant. The capacity of carbon capture will be the world largest 3,000t per day. The system is to be implemented at a gas turbine combined cycle power plant of 420,000kW. Gassnova has concluded the same contact with an American and a Norwegian separately. They plan the start of operation around the end of 2011. (21 August 2008, Nikkei Sangyo Shimbun)

8. Optimal control of lighting and air-conditioning at offices to halve power consumption
An industrial consortium will start a demonstration project to halve power consumption at an office in Tokyo in October. The group of 40 companies, including Hitachi, Mitsui and Matsushita, will co-operate with Doshisha University. They plan to develop a system in three years to control lighting and air-conditioning not uniformly but depending on individual workers' needs, making the best use of information and communication technologies. (25 August 2008, Nikkei Shimbun)

9. Catalyst for low-cost production of bioethanol from non-foods
A research group has developed a low-cost technique that can produce bioethanol from non-food materials such as rice straw and waste wood. The technology uses a solid acid catalyst that converts raw materials into sugar in boiling water. The catalyst can be produced from cheap carbon-base materials. The developed process is 30% cheaper than conventional ones and bioethanol produced will be economically competitive against those derived from edible materials such as corn. The leader of the team is Professor Michikazu Hara of the Tokyo Institute of Technology. (25 August 2008, Nikkei Shimbun)

10. Mass-production of petrochemical products from carbon dioxide
Mitsui Chemical announced that they would build a facility in Osaka to demonstrate mass-production of methanol from carbon dioxide contained in flue gas from factories. Based on achievement in a joint project with the Research Institute of Innovative Technology for the Earth (RITE), they plan to capture carbon dioxide from flue gas and concentrate it for reaction with hydrogen to synthesise methanol,
which is a raw material for synthetic resins and fibres. Currently, costs and required power are not predictable and the company will study commercial feasibility of the technology through the project. (26 August 2008, Nikkei Shimbun

11. Nippon Piston Ring developing next-generation piston ring to improve fuel efficiency and reduce emissions
Nippon Piston Ring, a major Japanese engine parts company, is developing next-generation position rings aimed at improving fuel efficiency and reducing gas emissions. It will begin commercializing these by 2015. To improve fuel efficiency, Nippon Piston Ring will reexamine employed materials such as rare metals and steel products to trim weight. The company will also conduct a drastic revision of its
surface finishing methods to save consumption of oil in the engine room. (15 August 2008, Nikkei Sangyo Shimbun)

Technology Newroundup, Next Gen Wifi, Laser Fusion, Infrared solar power

1. Several startups take Wifi to the next level:

Amimon WHDI - Wireless Home Digital Interface provides a high-quality, uncompressed wireless link which can support delivery of equivalent video data rates of up to 3Gbps (including uncompressed 1080p) in a 40MHz channel in the 5GHz unlicensed band.

The Quantenna High Speed (QHS) family of chipsets pioneers a new level of ultra reliability for delivering high-definition (HD) multimedia content over wireless networks. With its advanced architecture – which includes vector mesh routing, two or four concurrent bands and throughput link rates in excess of 1 Gbps.

PC World has some more information about Quentanna's merging a mesh of wifi nodes around a house to get full wifi coverage.

Celano said its switched MIMO approach uses up to eight antennas and beam forming to carry up to four high definition video streams across 50 meters and penetrate multiple walls

2. The European research project, called HiPER (High Power laser for Energy Research), has been kicked off. The 'proof of principle' of laser fusion is anticipated in the next few years based on two large-scale lasers currently nearing completion in the USA and France.

3. CIP Technologies, University of Oxford (Oxford, England) and Wafer Technology Ltd. (Bucks, England), and with partial funding from the UK Technology Strategy Board and EPSRC, have successfully completed a three-year collaborative research project. It has delivered first generation single-junction cells with energy conversion efficiencies up to 12% for thermo-photovoltaic (TPV) cells. This compares to 9% from existing, commercially available devices.

Thermo-photovoltaics are similar to solar cells, but operate at infrared rather than visible wavelengths, generating electricity directly from heat. They have applications in waste-heat recovery from industrial plants such as blast furnaces, combined heat and power (CHP) generation, and domestic boilers, as well as silent mobile power generation.

The consortium is now working on a second-generation cell design with a more complex, multi-layer construction that will improve infrared capture even further. This is expected to extend energy conversion efficiencies to over 15%, significantly widening the range of viable applications for the technology.

Space Power Conference Highlights

From Transterrestrial: 1. Jay Penn of Aerospace described a proposed a 125kW laser beaming demonstrator , that could scale up to 200kW with technology insertion. The system would be self-lifting from LEO to GEO using ion propulsion, to save mass.

2. Jordin Kare discussed on laser diode power beaming that will be used at the Space Elevator games.

Laser-Motive (his company) was formed to develop laser power beaming technology, but the current focus is on winning the prize. Their concept uses a fixed set of laser diodes and optics, with a steering mirror below the climber. They are estimating 10% efficiency, but actually getting more like 13%. They have 8 kW of laser power to deliver a kilowatt to the climber. Got good price on "seconds" for the lasers (a little less than $10/watt so about $80K). DILAS is offering to build a custom system ($35,000 for 2.5kW), and will set a new radiance standard. Can go to much more range with bigger optics and more power. deliver tens of kilowatts at tens of kilometers with this technology. Could be used for ground to aircraft or ground vehicles of mirrors on aerostats, or air to ground to simulate space-to-ground. ISS to ground is also a possibility. Next steps: higher radiance, coherent systems (e.g., fiber lasers), lightweight low-cost optics, and then operational systems.

3. Jay Penn described five different powersat concepts that Aerospace has been working on.

One of their concepts is a laser system that is very scalable (480 satellites for 1.2 GW). It uses a layered approach, with pump-laser diodes, microoptics, and a radiator on the back. Output beam is about a thousand nanometer wavelength. He thinks it the most promising architecture of those considered.

4. The first of Transterrestrials articles about the conference. Discusses the keynotes and current launch costs.

Aerospace corporation website

- Approximately 3,500 employees, two-thirds of whom are members of the technical staff
- Operate a federally funded research and development center for the U.S. Air Force and provide comprehensive technical services to national-security space programs.

October 13, 2008

Credit Crisis Updated Projection of When China's GDP passes the USA

Some people online say that China passing the USA in GDP is a wild dream. One posted analysis is from the Futurist, Stephen Aguilar-Millan.

This site has a historical analysis of the actual reported GDP numbers from 2000 to 2008 for China, USA and Japan. The Futurist had 2005 GDP numbers instead of 2007 numbers. Thus their projections from that one datapoint were two years pessimistic because of that error. [Along with the other major error of ignoring exchange rate.]

What Stephen ignored entirely is "what is the projected exchange rate between the Chinese currency and the US currency?"

The exchange is critical as one could see by looking at the combined GDP of the countries of Europe and the exchange rate of the Euro. In 2001, the euro ranged between 0.838 and 0.95 US dollars for one euro. In 2008, the euro ranged between 1.34 and 1.6 US dollars for one euro. The european countries had an average GDP growth rate that was lower than the United States.

Currently the combined GDP of the EU countries is higher than the GDP of the United States. According to the IMF and the CIA the EU has 20% more GDP than the USA.

The combined GDP of the EU countries was less than the USA's GDP in 2000 and 2001. The EU had about 85% of the US GDP.

The historical exchange rate of the japanese yen is also a critical example. The Japanese yen has appreciated by almost 400% since 1970. This is a huge part of what moved Japan into being the second largest economy based on GDP.

All emerging countries that catch up with overall and per capita GDP experience this strengthening of their currency.

The Economist magazine noted that China's national economic figures have been inaccurate but that the provincial numbers which show 10% higher growth have historically been shown to be more correct. The Futurist (Stephen Aguilar-Millan) uses the one 2007 GDP data point for his analysis. There is a new economic census being performed in China. The last economic census five years ago resulted in a 17% increased restatement of China's GDP.

Stephen Green, an economist at Standard Chartered, calculates that in 2007 the combined output of the provinces was 10% more than that reported by Beijing. Their average growth rate of 13.1% was also still 1.2 percentage points higher than the revised national growth rate, although the gap has narrowed from almost three points in 2005.

A compounded 1.2% annual adjustment would be a 6-7% increased GDP restatement.

Year GDP(yuan) GDP growth Yuan per USD China GDP China+HK/Ma US GDP
2007 24.66 11.9 7.3 3.38 3.7 13.8
2008 27.0 9.6 6.75 4.0 4.27 14.3 Past Germany
2009 29.6 9.0 6.2 4.8 5.04 14.3
2010 32.3 10.0 5.6 5.8 6.04 14.4 Past Japan
2011 35.5 9.5 5.1 7.0 7.25 14.7
2012 38.9 9.5 4.7 8.2 8.50 15.2
2013 42.5 9.5 4.5 9.5 9.87 15.6
2014 46.6 9.0 4.2 11.1 11.46 16.1
2015 50.8 9.0 3.9 12.9 13.25 16.6
2016 55.3 8.0 3.7 14.9 15.32 17.1
2017 59.8 7.5 3.6 16.8 17.21 17.6
2018 64.3 7.0 3.4 18.8 19.24 18.1 Past the USA

2019 68.8 7.0 3.3 21.0 21.42 18.7
2020 73.6 7.0 3.1 23.4 23.85 19.2
2021 78.7 6.0 3.1 25.5 26.02 19.8
2022 83.4 6.0 3.0 27.6 28.13 20.4
2023 88.4 5.0 3.0 29.9 30.41 21.0
2024 92.9 5.0 2.9 32.0 32.57 21.6
2025 97.5 5.0 2.8 34.3 34.88 22.3
2026 102.4 5.0 2.8 36.7 37.36 22.9
2027 107.5 5.0 2.7 39.4 40.02 23.6
2028 112.9 5.0 2.7 42.2 42.86 24.3
2029 118.5 5.0 2.6 45.2 45.91 25.1
2030 124.5 5.0 2.6 48.4 49.17 25.8 Close to double the USA

The second quarter of 2008 has bea.gov reporting 14.3 trillion for US GDP.

China's yuan denominated GDP is about 27 trillion yuan which with current exchange rates is about US$3.95 trillion (without including Hong Kong and Macau's GDP).

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