Quantum Computers, Artificial Intelligence, Robotics and Supercomputers
1. 128 qubit quantum computer chips are built and cooled to milliKelvins. If they prove out they should be scaled to 2000 qubits this year. Scaling up means filling up the semiconductor die using the same modular design that they already have. Commercial customers are starting to use them now.
Dwave Systems 128 qubit chip
2. IBM is scheduled to build a 20 petaflop supercomputer by 2012.
3. City scale robotic car systems in near Abu Dhabi and in massive warehouses.
4. There is a synapse brain project funded by DARPA and IBM. Try to make a human cortex simulation with 220 trillion synapse connections. This would be 400 times bigger than an existing rat cortex simulation.
Nuclear Fusion, Advanced nuclear fission and other Energy Related
IEC (Inertial electrostatic) nuclear fusion is still chugging along with good experimental results. They are funded through 2009 by the US Navy. The current work is to ensure no gotchas to prevent scaling this up to net power generation. It looks like it could lead to a fantastic new power source.
11. General fusion (steam punk / magnetized target nuclear fusion) almost has a second round of funding for $10 million.
12. Progress to China’s Modular factory mass produced melt-down proof nuclear reactors that they will be building in bunches (eight packs).
13. Micro gap thermophotovoltaics get get to 50% efficiency converting heat and theoretically up to 85%.
16. Game changing oil recovery processes are being proven at tens of thousands of barrels per day.
17. Jovion corp, Zero Point Energy, Casimir Force Manipulation, Blacklight Power
A long shot possibility for getting zero point energy. The patent and theory could explain cold fusion and Blacklight power.
18. It is related to advancing capabilities in manipulating the Casimir force.
Graphene and Nanotechnology
20. Hydrophobic sand is helping to make greening the deserts easier and cheaper. 75% more efficient irrigation.
25. Carbon nanotube breakthrough – five times as strong as Kevlar
26. Electromagnetic launch of planes and UAVs for the next aircraft carrier (2014) and lasers and railguns for added weapons.
27. 49,000 horsepower Superconducting motors are being field tested by the Navy.
28. Progress to practical invisibility is happening fast. This same technology has also enabled optical microscopes that can see to 10-20 nanometers of resolution, which is 10 to 20 times better than the diffraction limit that was previously believed to be the limit of optical microscopes.
29. A galactic civilization that captured the solar power of all stars in a galaxy and used it for reversible computing would have 10**50 human brain equivalents.
30. The UK is making progress to a single stage to orbit space plane.
31. A ship-load of fertilizer is as powerful as an atomic bomb. The science of nuclear war and detailed analysis of all out nuclear war.
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
Known for identifying cutting edge technologies, he is currently a Co-Founder of a startup and fundraiser for high potential early-stage companies. He is the Head of Research for Allocations for deep technology investments and an Angel Investor at Space Angels.
A frequent speaker at corporations, he has been a TEDx speaker, a Singularity University speaker and guest at numerous interviews for radio and podcasts. He is open to public speaking and advising engagements.