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New State of Matter Could Extend Moore's Law

samzenpus posted more than 5 years ago | from the I-miss-the-original-three dept.

Supercomputing 329

rennerik writes "Scientists at McGill University in Montreal say they've discovered a new state of matter that could help extend Moore's Law and allow for the fabrication of more tightly packed transistors, or a new kind of transistor altogether. The researchers call the new state of matter 'a quasi-three-dimensional electron crystal.' It was discovered using a device cooled to a temperature about 100 times colder than intergalactic space, following the application of the most powerful continuous magnetic field on Earth."

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It came from... (-1, Offtopic)

Cylix (55374) | more than 5 years ago | (#25475899)

outer space!

Quasi three dimensional crystal? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25475905)

I believe the term you're looking for is Dilithium.

Re:Quasi three dimensional crystal? (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25476315)

and if you need some extra CPU power just find the naval base in Alameda. It's where they keep the nuclear wessels.

Re:Quasi three dimensional crystal? (3, Interesting)

Idiomatick (976696) | more than 5 years ago | (#25476357)

On a nerd side note. We all know Dilithium in reality is a gas. But at the temperatures stated in the article. Would it be able to form a solid? Likely it would NOT be a crystal but it'd be fun to know.

Re:Quasi three dimensional crystal? (1)

Ortega-Starfire (930563) | more than 5 years ago | (#25476367)

Dilithium is a Quasi 4 dimensional crystal.

This could be the basis for transtator technology though.

Hell Yeah! (5, Funny)

SpiderClan (1195655) | more than 5 years ago | (#25475913)

" It was discovered using a device cooled to a temperature about 100 times colder than intergalactic space, following the application of the most powerful continuous magnetic field on Earth."

That's exactly what I want in my office.

Re:Hell Yeah! (5, Funny)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 5 years ago | (#25475945)

You can borrow my wife if you want powerful attraction followed by extreme coldness.

Re:Hell Yeah! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25476163)

I did borrow your wife last night... she wasn't that great.

Re:Hell Yeah! (5, Funny)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 5 years ago | (#25476365)

C'mon guys, let's get off wives.

('Cause I just got off yours...)

Re:Hell Yeah! (0, Redundant)

Miseph (979059) | more than 5 years ago | (#25476435)

Your mom, on the other hand...

100 times colder than what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25476255)

TFA doesn't state any specific temperature, but I find the analogy to how "cold" space is rather troubling. Space is really "warm", as it contains energy left from the Big Bang (although no one with a common sense would describe it that way in daily talk), and saying that something is so many times colder than space really just doesn't make sense.
You can always compare sizes, but as heat is a positive size, because you can't have negative energy, you can just say "this is a hundred times hotter than that" or "my freezer is two times as cold as my refrigerator compared to my living room".
The one who thought of this analogy could be talking about degrees on Celsius or Fahrenheit, but then those numbers must be way below absolute zero, or 0 Kelvin, as space is just 2.7 Kelvin, or -270.7 C ( http://helios.gsfc.nasa.gov/qa_sp_ht.html ) and taking for granted he is comparing the temperature of space to 0 ÂC, that means that those crystals are actually -27070 C.
And _that_ would be some real frontpage material...

Re:100 times colder than what? (5, Informative)

againjj (1132651) | more than 5 years ago | (#25476427)

TFA doesn't state any specific temperature, but I find the analogy to how "cold" space is rather troubling. Space is really "warm", as it contains energy left from the Big Bang (although no one with a common sense would describe it that way in daily talk), and saying that something is so many times colder than space really just doesn't make sense. You can always compare sizes, but as heat is a positive size, because you can't have negative energy, you can just say "this is a hundred times hotter than that" or "my freezer is two times as cold as my refrigerator compared to my living room". The one who thought of this analogy could be talking about degrees on Celsius or Fahrenheit, but then those numbers must be way below absolute zero, or 0 Kelvin, as space is just 2.7 Kelvin, or -270.7 C ( http://helios.gsfc.nasa.gov/qa_sp_ht.html [nasa.gov] ) and taking for granted he is comparing the temperature of space to 0 ÂC, that means that those crystals are actually -27070 C. And _that_ would be some real frontpage material...

You seem confused. He speaks of "a temperature about 100 times colder than intergalactic space". Intergalactic space has a temperature of about 3K. It does not make sense to talk of degrees C, since C is not an absolute scale. 100 times colder than 3K is 0.03K.

Re:100 times colder than what? (2, Insightful)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 5 years ago | (#25476473)

100 times as cold as.

Re:100 times colder than what? (3, Insightful)

Markspark (969445) | more than 5 years ago | (#25476515)

but it still works quite well, since 1C == 1K

and i really cringed when i read the 100 times colder crap. Seriously, if it's at 0.03 K why not just say that?

Re:100 times colder than what? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25476593)

and i really cringed when i read the 100 times colder crap. Seriously, if it's at 0.03 K why not just say that?

Because 100 times colder sounds much more dramatic than 2.97 degress less.

Re:100 times colder than what? (4, Informative)

againjj (1132651) | more than 5 years ago | (#25476655)

but it still works quite well, since 1C == 1K

and i really cringed when i read the 100 times colder crap. Seriously, if it's at 0.03 K why not just say that?

It does not work well. 100x colder than 1 C is not 0.01 C, it is -270.27 C. And the reason people don't say 0.03 K is because the average person does not know what K is, but they know space is very cold.

Re:100 times colder than what? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25476661)

TFA doesn't state any specific temperature, but I find the analogy to how "cold" space is rather troubling.

I wonder how many times colder it is than the Library of Congress. It's always important to have a "Library of Congress" metric in these articles.

Re:Hell Yeah! (5, Funny)

grub (11606) | more than 5 years ago | (#25476321)


It was discovered using a device cooled to a temperature about 100 times colder than intergalactic space

Here in Winnipeg we could just put these units outside thus eliminating the need for cooling units. You can't get much more environmentally friendly than that!

Re:Hell Yeah! (5, Funny)

JustOK (667959) | more than 5 years ago | (#25476639)

they tried. the mosquitoes took them.

SSDs (1)

Roger W Moore (538166) | more than 5 years ago | (#25476341)

Just be thankful we have SSDs now - I'm not sure HDs would be compatible with such a system!

Re:Hell Yeah! (4, Informative)

Valacosa (863657) | more than 5 years ago | (#25476479)

If you did have it in your office, there's not much danger of it blowing up, but the vacuum pumps would be pretty loud.

Intergalactic space is about 2 or 3 Kelvin. Getting down to 100 times colder than that - 20 or 30 millikelvin - requires a Helium 3 dilution fridge. Helium 3 is a rare (and expensive) helium isotope. Physics labs can afford this sort of equipment, but we're not going to be using the setup for gaming anytime soon.

Not to mention, the vacuum pumps, the cold trap and the helium storage system would probably take up most of the space in your cubicle anyway.

Re:Hell Yeah! (1, Troll)

rossdee (243626) | more than 5 years ago | (#25476547)

"temperature about 100 times colder than intergalactic space"

How can you have something that is 100 times colder than space. I think that space runs at about -270 C, so to be 100 times colder it would have to be -2700 C. I thought absolute zero was -273.15 C at which point all movement is stopped, so how do you get a temperature below that?

And this helps Moore's Law how? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25475921)

It was discovered using a device cooled to a temperature about 100 times colder than intergalactic space, following the application of the most powerful continuous magnetic field on Earth.

This is great news for those of us who like to cool our home CPUs with multi-million pound systems of lasers and magnets.

Re:And this helps Moore's Law how? (5, Funny)

noidentity (188756) | more than 5 years ago | (#25475971)

Read carefully; they're cooling temperature itself! Not just cooler matter, but cooler temperature. This is a major breakthrough. Before you know it, they'll be able to achieve faster speeds, longer lengths, smaller sizes, and deeper depths.

Re:And this helps Moore's Law how? (0, Troll)

fishinatree (1368937) | more than 5 years ago | (#25476123)

So would Apple's Intel processors finally be able to reach that 4 GHz mark?

Re:And this helps Moore's Law how? (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 5 years ago | (#25476197)

Why? They didn't write it carefully~

Re:And this helps Moore's Law how? (0, Offtopic)

scatteredsun (981481) | more than 5 years ago | (#25476397)

sounds like a p3n1s enlargement spam

Hm... (3, Insightful)

Andr T. (1006215) | more than 5 years ago | (#25475925)

The researchers call the new state of matter 'a quasi-three-dimensional electron crystal.' It was discovered using a device cooled to a temperature about 100 times colder than intergalactic space, following the application of the most powerful continuous magnetic field on Earth.

I don't know why, but I think this will take a while to get to my local PC store.

Oh no you didn't (5, Informative)

yttrstein (891553) | more than 5 years ago | (#25475935)

Extend it? I trust you mean CONFIRM IT YET AGAIN!

Thought so.

Re:Oh no you didn't (2, Funny)

nbert (785663) | more than 5 years ago | (#25476045)

Exactly. I just expect the development of new materials to follow Moore's Law. It's the weird hippy cousin of 5 year plans...

Re:Oh no you didn't (4, Informative)

geekoid (135745) | more than 5 years ago | (#25476103)

Neither, Moore's law doesn't apply to this..but that would of course require an understanding of Moore's law. The cost of putting more transistors has started going up, thus ending Moore's law.
Unless a fab breakthrough happens. A big one.

Could some other material come up to allow faster processors? you bet, but that wouldn't be Moore's law now, would it?

Re:Oh no you didn't (1)

yttrstein (891553) | more than 5 years ago | (#25476237)

Actually if you do what I've always done and correct everyone when they say "processor speed" when they should be saying "processING speed".

If you look at Moore's Law in that sense, it still holds well enough to take note. There have been no real pauses or holes in it, what with the advent of thinner circuits and more cores, as well as brainier architecture all 'round. Thus, this is indeed a simple continuation and the humor in my original post is punctuated to profundity not by pragmatism, but by pure principle.

Re:Oh no you didn't (2, Interesting)

geekoid (135745) | more than 5 years ago | (#25476431)

Really, it's about cost.
And the paper Moores's law comes from is about economics, so no changing to processing is still incorrect.
However, it does neatly deal with multi-cores.

The Fab costs, at this time, for the next round of doubling the transistors is pretty huge.
Whe they ahve to toss 4 out of 5 wafers, the cost to the consumer may become prohibitive. No doubt large orginization will continue upgrading.

From what I've been reading and talking to eopel in the fab industry, we will reach a state where system much 'faster' my e using tools and techniques that are hugely expensive to operate.
Such as needing super cooled room and a large magnet.

So large organization will have computing power that outstrips the home PC.

I would ahve said the 'Average Joe's' PC, but that guy has turned out to be a liar and a stooge.

Re:Oh no you didn't (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25476423)

Unless a fab breakthrough happens.

And what, exactly, would that fab breakthrough look like? Perhaps a new, highly organized state of matter which could be potentially exploited to create more densely pact transistors?

Stop applying Moore's law to everything!! (0)

CardiganKiller (854899) | more than 5 years ago | (#25475985)

Moore's Law relates to the rate of how many transistors can be packed onto a... oh... wait... *slowly walks away and hides behind a tree*

Colder than Space? (0)

Kid Zero (4866) | more than 5 years ago | (#25475987)

Did they change something or is space still a vacuum? A vacuum can't have a temperature if there's nothing in it to have motion or movement.

Re:Colder than Space? (1)

VoltCurve (1248644) | more than 5 years ago | (#25476047)

because space is a perfect vacuum, and radiation is a republican scare tactic.

Re:Colder than Space? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25476135)

Outer space [wikipedia.org] is not a perfect vacuum.

"Contrary to popular understanding, outer space is not completely empty (i.e. a perfect vacuum) but contains a low density of particles, predominantly hydrogen plasma, as well as electromagnetic radiation."

Re:Colder than Space? (2, Interesting)

fishinatree (1368937) | more than 5 years ago | (#25476155)

Space isn't a complete vacuum. There is still movement and the occasional molecule, but for all practical purposes, it "is" a vacuum. There is still a temperature though.

Re:Colder than Space? (4, Informative)

againjj (1132651) | more than 5 years ago | (#25476323)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vacuum [wikipedia.org]
Intersteller space has a density of a million atoms per cubic meter. Intergalactic space has densities closer to one atom per cubic meter. Perfect vacuum is theoretically impossible due to quantum mechanics (I can not explain why, but that makes sense).

Radiant temperature. (3, Informative)

Ungrounded Lightning (62228) | more than 5 years ago | (#25476535)

You don't need matter to have a temperature. Even in a "perfect" vacuum (i.e. nothing but quantum fluctuation transient particle-antiparticle pairs) there is still radiant energy in the form of photons - and their wavelength distribution corresponds to a temperature.

It's the temperature at which a black-body test object, bathed continuously in photons of that frequency distribution, would neither warm up nor cool down further.

The radiant temperature of the sky far from the influence of nearby galaxies is known as the "cosmic background temperature". It's about 4 degrees absolute - corresponding to the light from the big bang red-shifted down a LOT by cosmic expansion.

Re:Radiant temperature. (2, Informative)

Ungrounded Lightning (62228) | more than 5 years ago | (#25476653)

It's about 4 degrees absolute... More accurately: about 2.725 +- .002 degrees Kelvin. Also know as the "cosmic microwave background radiation".

100x colder than space? (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25476027)

I might be wrong but isn't the temperature of space absolut zero. How can you get colder than absolut zero? Can someone with knowledge of the subject matter be so kind to explain?

Re:100x colder than space? (1)

PunkOfLinux (870955) | more than 5 years ago | (#25476081)

I believe there's still minute amounts of matter floating in the ether.

Re:100x colder than space? (2, Informative)

khallow (566160) | more than 5 years ago | (#25476105)

The cosmic microwave background is the electromagnetic energy radiated by the distant reaches of the universe. It corresponds to energy radiated by a roughly 2.7 degrees Kelvin blackbody. That is the temperature of space since under normal conditions nothing can get colder than that temperature.

Re:100x colder than space? (1)

pavon (30274) | more than 5 years ago | (#25476115)

Nope, the background microwave radiation prevents an object in even the deepest portions of space from dropping below around 3 Kelvin.

Re:100x colder than space? (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 5 years ago | (#25476185)

Space has no temperature, microwave radiation does.

I can find places in space that are millions of degrees, that doesn't mean space is hot.
Add to that that as the Universe expands, the 'background heat' get's lower.
Energy throughout the universe is constant*, but the volume is increasing.

*or at least among all the universe in the probable dimensions.

Re:100x colder than space? Absolut? (1)

davidsyes (765062) | more than 5 years ago | (#25476183)

To get colder than Absolut, drink more than the body can handle, the you'll Absolutly shut down..., hehehe

As for the 3D Crystal Ball, that's a better take on Mr. Peabody's 3DBB (3-Dimensional Black Board) Sherman always marveled at. But, these scientists are pretty good, taking on the Matter by the Horn...

Re:100x colder than space? Absolut? (2, Informative)

Mr. Mikey (17567) | more than 5 years ago | (#25476403)

Mr. Peabody, and his boy Sherman, used the Wayback Machine.

The 3DBB was used by Phineas J. Whoopee, when he was educating Tennessee Tuxedo and his walrus pal, Chumley.

Look at my ID. I am old... old as dirt! :)

I used to watch these, as well as "The World of Commander McBragg", and the ever-popular Underdog. "The secret compartment of my ring I fill with an Underdog super-vitamin energy pill." The people involved in the supposed live-action remake of Underdog should all be lowered into wood chippers feet first... and slowly.

Re:100x colder than space? (4, Funny)

pushing-robot (1037830) | more than 5 years ago | (#25476271)

Obviously you've never been to Montreal.

Re:100x colder than space? (3, Interesting)

xTantrum (919048) | more than 5 years ago | (#25476411)

The laws of Thermodynamics state that we can't really achieve absolute zero [wikipedia.org] As far as the far reaches of space goes they may be referring to the boomerang nebula which is the coldest place we know of so far - outside of the laboratory. I wish the article had been more specific and quantitative. FYI a really good program to watch if you get a chance is Absolute Zero [pbs.org]

Re:100x colder than space? (1)

Nebu (566313) | more than 5 years ago | (#25476447)

I might be wrong but isn't the temperature of space absolut zero. How can you get colder than absolut zero? Can someone with knowledge of the subject matter be so kind to explain?

Joke answer: absolute zero divided by one hundred still equals absolute zero.

More serious answer: The temperature is actually around 3 Kelvin, so I guess they got the temperature down to about 0.03K.

No, it won't (2, Interesting)

geekoid (135745) | more than 5 years ago | (#25476065)

Moore's law is about manufacturing on silicon
If it isn't silicon, then it isn't Moore's law.
remember kids, increasing processor speed is a by product of Moore's law/ Moore's law is about cost of manufacturing.

Re:No, it won't (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25476335)

Moore's law is about manufacturing on silicon
If it isn't silicon, then it isn't Moore's law.
remember kids, increasing processor speed is a by product of Moore's law/ Moore's law is about cost of manufacturing.

In other news Moore's Law fans are breeding a race of super chimpanzees to take over chip production. Another project seeks to breed 20' long super bananas to cheaply feed the workforce thus extending Moore's Law further.

Re:No, it won't (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25476621)

Processor speed has been stagnant for years. Moore's law is about transistor count. Bunging extra cores on a CPU is still within Moore's law, but we're not getting faster machines. We just have better theroretical throughput when running multiple applications, which is rarely the case for the majority of PC users. Quad core, great! Shame the processes are still as slow as a single core at the same tick, and anything remotely IO intensive locks out CPUs while SATA interrupts the processors to death, resulting in multi-core boxes acting like shit from the 90s, regardless of OS and nice values.

But... (5, Funny)

sdsucks (1161899) | more than 5 years ago | (#25476083)

How cold is that in libraries of congresses?

Re:But... (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 5 years ago | (#25476127)

None, becasue as we all know Libraries are HOT!

One more time with feeling! (4, Funny)

geekoid (135745) | more than 5 years ago | (#25476133)

None, because as we all know Librarians are HOT!

Could you be any more vague? (2, Insightful)

collinstocks (1295204) | more than 5 years ago | (#25476101)

... "...It was discovered using a device cooled to a temperature about 100 times colder than intergalactic space, following the application of the most powerful continuous magnetic field on Earth."

What does this mean? Give us a temperature. At least that would be concrete.

According to wikipedia, intergalactic space is 2.71 Kelvin. I would assume that they mean "100th the temperature of intergalactic space", not "100 times colder than intergalactic space", as the latter is nonsensical and implies that it exists at 100 times colder than intergalactic space is colder than room temperature, meaning -28834 Kelvin (293 - 100 * (293 - 2.73) where we assume that room temperature is 20 degrees centigrade). This is nonsense.

So, my PC is going to be running at 0.0273 Kelvin. Well, that's convenient! I love my room when it's that cold!

Re:Could you be any more vague? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25476203)

I'm glad I'm not the only one that cringed when I saw that.

Re:Could you be any more vague? (1, Funny)

geekoid (135745) | more than 5 years ago | (#25476443)

meh.

Re:Could you be any more vague? (3, Informative)

againjj (1132651) | more than 5 years ago | (#25476557)

According to wikipedia, intergalactic space is 2.71 Kelvin. I would assume that they mean "100th the temperature of intergalactic space", not "100 times colder than intergalactic space", as the latter is nonsensical and implies that it exists at 100 times colder than intergalactic space is colder than room temperature, meaning -28834 Kelvin (293 - 100 * (293 - 2.73) where we assume that room temperature is 20 degrees centigrade). This is nonsense.

I don't see a problem with "100 times colder than intergalactic space". Temperature is an absolute scale, like size. It's like saying that item X is "100 times smaller than a coin". You don't then compare the size of the coin (say, 0.01m) to the room (say 3m) and then complain that item X is not of size -296 (3 - 100 * (3 - 0.01)).

Re:Could you be any more vague? (1)

collinstocks (1295204) | more than 5 years ago | (#25476605)

You make a point.
/me goes off and throws a fit
So?!

Nonono! (1)

jd (1658) | more than 5 years ago | (#25476567)

They do mean 100 times colder! By being below absolute zero, distances and therefore time becomes negative. With sufficient negativity, they can produce a Pentium that'll give you the wrong answer before you provide it with the data!

Re:Could you be any more vague? (1)

Dun Malg (230075) | more than 5 years ago | (#25476623)

100 times colder than intergalactic space

What does this mean? Give us a temperature. At least that would be concrete.

According to wikipedia, intergalactic space is 2.71 Kelvin. I would assume that they mean "100th the temperature of intergalactic space", not "100 times colder than intergalactic space", as the latter is nonsensical...

This reminds me of when I was a child watching the Buck Rogers TV show for the first time. The intro is rolling and the narrator is explaining how "due to a freak accident, Captain William 'Buck' Rogers was frozen by temperatures beyond imagination". At that point my father, an engineer, scoffs audibly and angrily launches into a tirade about the completely imaginable nature of Absolute Zero, and how idiots write for TV and probably get paid twice what he does. This was the beginning of my lifelong dedication to criticizing inexcusable violations of the laws of physics by TV writers--- much to my wife's displeasure.

Honestly, I don't understand why writers feel the need to reach for bizarre equivalencies when talking about extremes. Do any of us have any idea how tall the Statue of Liberty actually is? If something is long enough to go around the earth some number of times, how impressed can we be if anything farther than Grandma's house is simply "a long way"? When you say that the concrete in the Interstate Highway system is enough to make a sidewalk from the earth to the moon six times, how thick a sidewalk are we talking, and where can we lobby to have this six-lane promenade to Luna built?

Is that really cold? (0, Redundant)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | more than 5 years ago | (#25476111)

100 times colder than intergalactic space

Does space even have a temperature?

Re:Is that really cold? (1)

taustin (171655) | more than 5 years ago | (#25476257)

Yes. A few degrees above absolute zero. Which means taht "100 times colder" is, of course, physically impossible, or meaningless.

This is what happens when your science reporter flunked high school science.

Nothing wrong with "100 times colder" (1)

no reason to be here (218628) | more than 5 years ago | (#25476419)

Yes. A few degrees above absolute zero. Which means taht "100 times colder" is, of course, physically impossible, or meaningless.

This is what happens when your science reporter flunked high school science.

The phrase "100 times colder" is commonly understood to mean at a temperature 1/100 of that being compared. Average temperature of outer space is 3 K, so, "100 times colder" would be .03 K. So, the phrasing is perfectly acceptable.

An exercise in relativity (1)

CorporateSuit (1319461) | more than 5 years ago | (#25476259)

100 times colder than intergalactic space

Does space even have a temperature?

Well, if I remember correctly from winters in elementary school:
Space's temperature, according to my 1st grade teacher, is "Really cold"...

If I remember correctly from winters in elementary school:
"Super Cold" is about 2 times colder than "Really Cold"
"F*cking cold" is about 10 times colder than "Really Cold"
"FREEZING" is about 5 times colder than "Cold"
So 100 times colder than intergalactice space would be "Super F*cking FREEZING!" (said while shivering for effect)

Re:Is that really cold? (1)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 5 years ago | (#25476445)

The way temperature is defined: yes.

Stick a thermometer in it. Read the number off. Now, granted, this is mostly due to rad exchange, but it still satisfies the thermodynamic definition.*

*if you've got a perfectly gray thermometer.

Re:Is that really cold? (2, Interesting)

SimonBelmont (1089255) | more than 5 years ago | (#25476553)

Actually I would assume that they mean 1/100 the temperature of space, on an absolute zero based scale.

Re:Is that really cold? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25476559)

4.73 Kelvin

....Swell.... (0, Offtopic)

mappemonde (1052784) | more than 5 years ago | (#25476129)

SKYNET has been discovered. Need I say more?

Re:....Swell.... (1)

NovaHorizon (1300173) | more than 5 years ago | (#25476179)

Yes. Give me the location of John Conner.

Re:....Swell.... (1)

Muckluck (759718) | more than 5 years ago | (#25476233)

Oh Crap. They are on to us.
Governator - destroy!
Love, Cyberdine, inc

So she is good for something! (2, Funny)

CorporateSuit (1319461) | more than 5 years ago | (#25476137)

was discovered using a device cooled to a temperature about 100 times colder than intergalactic space

My ex-girlfriend?

Longer Article (4, Informative)

againjj (1132651) | more than 5 years ago | (#25476145)

Re:Longer Article (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25476307)

Old news,
been done in July
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/07/080725152314.htm

New transistor, that's nice. (3, Insightful)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 5 years ago | (#25476235)

Now gimme mah memristors! [wikipedia.org]

Moore's Law? (3, Insightful)

cavePrisoner (1184997) | more than 5 years ago | (#25476247)

Wait, so somebody discovered a whole new state of matter, and all we have to say is it could extend Moore's Law? I would hope the implications would be just a tad bit more grand for such a discovery than possibly validating somebody's metric for a little while.

100 times colder? (2, Interesting)

glwtta (532858) | more than 5 years ago | (#25476249)

100 times colder than 0 K? So, that's what, 0 K? Why not make it 1000 times colder?

(Yes I know space is slightly warmer than absolute zero, but it's still a really weird claim to make - we are only talking about a couple of degrees here)

Also, am I the only one who, upon hearing "discovered a new state of matter", doesn't immediately think "Sweet, we can extends Moore's Law!", but rather "Holy shit, a new state of matter?" Seems like a pretty big discovering on its own, even without being tied to chip manufacturing...

Re:100 times colder? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25476415)

I'd hate to see the heatsink you would need to overclock that bad boy.

Re:100 times colder? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25476455)

I suspect what they meant was "one hundredth the temperature of..", but I agree that is a really weird thing to say.

"Cold" is not not a kind of unit one can multiply meaningfully. It's just the subjective impression of low temperature.

Re:100 times colder? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25476509)

Generally its thought that Intergalactic space sits at around 2.73 K, so 100 times colder would be 0.0273 K. You have to remember that at 0 k nothing is actually moving....

Re:100 times colder? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25476569)

Outer space is something like 3 Kelvin. So they're probably talking about probably .03 Kelvin.

Re:100 times colder? (2, Informative)

Yarhj (1305397) | more than 5 years ago | (#25476577)

The average temperature out in space is around 3K. Now, three measly degrees may not seem like a lot, but there's a world of difference between 3K and 0K. I'm sure we would all agree that a temperature of 300K is one-hundred times greater than 3K -- likewise, 0.003K is one hundred times smaller than 3K. There are many exotic physical effects which manifest in the millikelvin regime, but I find it unlikely that you'll be playing Team Fortress 10 on your three-dimensional electron crystal computer. More likely, the insights gleaned from this research will enable a better understanding of silicon and other semiconductors, *possibly* opening the door to further cMOS scaling. Most likely, this research will enable the authors to write some more grants to play with big magnets down in Florida.

Re:100 times colder? (1)

againjj (1132651) | more than 5 years ago | (#25476615)

100 times colder than 0 K? So, that's what, 0 K? Why not make it 1000 times colder?

100 times colder than 3 K. So, that's what, 0.03 K?

(Yes I know space is slightly warmer than absolute zero, but it's still a really weird claim to make - we are only talking about a couple of degrees here)

If you knew that it was above 0 K, you shouldn't say 0 K. And it is not weird -- these are normal operating temperatures of some really cool physics work. And the reason we talk about 100x vs. 1000x is that the difference between 100x and 1000x is a good chunk of change.

Scenes from the lab (5, Insightful)

Repton (60818) | more than 5 years ago | (#25476251)

[Scientist 1] A new state of matter! This is AWESOME!

[Scientist 2] Yeah, but it's bloody expensive making the stuff. How can we bring in more funding?

[Scientist 1] Umm ... Something to do with terrorism? Err ...

[Scientist 2] ...energy crisis? Can we do anything with oil? ...

[Scientist 1] ...what about computers? Could you make smaller transistors with this stuff?

[Scientist 2] Yeah, it might fly. Let's run with that.

Re:Scenes from the lab (2, Funny)

geekoid (135745) | more than 5 years ago | (#25476497)

[Scientist 1] What? It doesn't fly

[Scientist 2] What I meant was..

[Scientist 3] But look at it's plumage!
and so on.

Not a new state of matter at all (5, Informative)

brunes69 (86786) | more than 5 years ago | (#25476261)

From comments in TFA:

The researcher, Dr. Guillaume Gervais, is director of McGill University's Ultra-Low Temperature Condensed Matter Experiment Lab. There's nothing in the journal letter about "a new state of matter". The McGill Newsroom article quotes him as saying to the interviewer, "It's actually not quite 3-D, it's an in-between state, a totally new phenomenon" as compared with the 2-D electron crystals that transistors and IC chips are made of. The interviewer, or an editor, thought "Physics -- state -- new state of matter". Engadget's Melanson picked up the error and passed it on uncritically.

ABout your sig (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 5 years ago | (#25476471)

I looked it up because it caught my eye.
So they fill a paper cup, then dump it into you travel mug(yeah you) then toss the cup?

Hmm. I understand why they can't use your mug for the creation of the drink, but I wonder why they just don't use a ceramic cup for the preparation.

Homer Simpson (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25476343)

Dr. Guillaume Gervais, director of McGill's Ultra-Low Temperature Condensed Matter Experiment Lab, describes them in terms of a ham sandwich, where the ham -- the two-dimensional crystal -- represents a flat plane that constrains the movement of the electrons in two dimensions.

Mmmmmm, ham sandwich. Now, off to topology for donuts! Mmmmmmm, donuts.

Why would we want to? (1)

camperdave (969942) | more than 5 years ago | (#25476389)

Why would we want to extend Moore's law? I mean, why merely double the number of transistors every 18 months (or however it goes)? Why not increase the number of transistors by a factor of five, or ten in a single year? It seems stupid to me to limit yourself.

Re:Why would we want to? (1)

Alyred (667815) | more than 5 years ago | (#25476487)

Why would we want to only build the world's tallest build a few floors higher than the last? Why not add 100, 200 more floors? ;) Probably an exaggerated metaphor, but it's along the same idea. Limiting the transistors on a processor is not a function of desire, so much as it is a problem of heat, data access, speed, power consumption... the infrastructure that makes up the chip itself needs to be able to utilize all those transistors without generating too much heat, etc.

The Big Bang Theory (0, Offtopic)

BorgAssimilator (1167391) | more than 5 years ago | (#25476461)

As soon as I saw the title I thought of that one episode from The Big Bang Theory where they give a presentation on the new form of matter.

Completely unrelated, I just thought it was funny.

Moore's Law isn't just about silicon any more (5, Interesting)

mschuyler (197441) | more than 5 years ago | (#25476503)

Since there are already numerous posts invoking the applicability (or not) of Moore's Law, I thought I would start over. Although Gordon Moore certainly formulated his law based on silicon (original is here: http://www.intel.com/technology/mooreslaw/ [intel.com] .) it can be applied clear back to 1890 with the Hollerith 'computer' that tabulated the 1890 census. When you graph it out, Moore's Law applies to electro-mechanical switches, then to relays, then to vacuum tubes, then transistors themselves (like in a six transistor radio of the 50's), then on to silicon. It's still the same exponential curve, in five separate states, only the last one of which is silicon. Kurzweil discusses this in depth here: http://www.kurzweilai.net/articles/art0134.html?printable=1 [kurzweilai.net] . People who claim Moore's Law doesn't apply because this isn't traditional silicon acreage are missing the point, which is that not only is Moore's Law more encompassing than the originally envisioned, it is not going away any time soon. The imminent death of Moore's Law, as always, has been greatly exaggerated.

Re:Moore's Law isn't just about silicon any more (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25476691)

Moore's law isn't a law about technology at all, it's a law about human ingenuity.

Extending Moore's law? (1)

erroneus (253617) | more than 5 years ago | (#25476561)

If it doesn't go onto a desktop chip, I am not sure Moore's law is being extended by this theoretical application.

Oblig (0)

A440Hz (1054614) | more than 5 years ago | (#25476657)

In Soviet Russia, the State matters you.
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