We’re going to add a new impossible that might become possible to that list thanks to Joshua Turner, a physicist at the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, who has proposed using the orbits of electrons around the nucleus of an atom as a new means to generate the binary states (the charge or lack of a charge that transistors use today to generate zeros and ones) we use in computing. He calls this idea orbital computing and the big takeaway for engineers is that one can switch the state of an electron’s orbit 10,000 times faster than you can switch the state of a transistor used in computing today.
A scientist from SLAC proposed a new way of storing binary states, which could one day lead to dramatically faster computers. I think it’s safe to assume computers based on this technology are a long way off and there are many competing technologies that could win out, but I’m fascinated by people pushing the envelope of computing at such a fundamental level.
Sounds like a great talk as well, I hope it makes it’s way to youtube.