2011 and 2012 are shaping up to be years where key technologies establish a technical takeoff.
J Storrs Hall defines a technical takeoff
– Embodies the essential function of the proposed technology
– is proof that the concept works
– focuses technical effort
– is a vehicle for practical experience
– attracts financial (etc) resources
– forms a crack in the dam
1. Adiabatic quantum computers are thus well passed technical takeoff, with a $10 million commercial sale to Lockheed Martin. However, they are achieving an secondary technical takeoff where the tens of millions that have been invested are justified and further funding and development to the hundreds of millions or even billions of dollar level will be achieved. Billions of dollar will be needed to truly establish a vibrant quantum computer industry with million or billion qubit machines. Researchers are extending the superposition of quantum superconducting flux qubit using microwave pulses to 23 microseconds.
2. James Woodward reported consistent and reversible results for Mach Effect propulsion at 1 micronewton. It seems the likely development path would be for him and Paul March to make the millinewton work that Paul has done to be repeatable and reversible as well (say by 2012) and then to advance to hundreds of millinewtons in late 2012 or in 2013. Propellentless propulsion that lasts as long as the power source would radically alter space exploration even at the one newton level. A nuclear power source that could power a one newton propellentless system would enable limitless robotic exploration of the solar system. Scaling up to hundreds of newtons or more would enable something like impulse drive in Star Trek.
3. The Rossi energy catalyzer and low energy nuclear reactions could get technical takeoff in October of 2011 and commercialization in 2012. This would transform energy production with fusion of nickel and hydrogen.