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RE: starship-design: Ideas for the future

Kyle your supposition that computers and communications will be increasingly
important to spaceships (as well as to space travel in general) is well put.
C3 (Command, Control and Communications) are the backbone of any enterprise
(for the moment, I am neglecting Intelligence).

However your next points are slightly flawed:

> 1. A superluminal communication system. An experiment was
> done a couple of
> years ago proving that two photons that had been entangled
> would change
> states simultaniously even if they were seperated. This has
> been shown to
> happen at exactly the same time, i.e. faster than light.
> imagine if one
> photon was placed aboard a spaceship and the other left on
> earth. it would
> be a simple matter to detect the polarization of these photons,
> unfortunately not without breaking the entanglement (yet). If the
> polarization could be changed fast enough, it could possibly
> be used to
> transmit digital signals in realtime- even between places
> light years apart.

Although the entanglement was indeed successfully demonstrated, no one has
been able to show a useful way of obtaining information from it. So far at
least, it is worthless as a communications device. Who knows what the future
may bring...

> 2. A very powerful quantum computer. I know that quantum
> computers can be
> made more powerful than anyone can dream of, with a
> quadrillion atome, about
> 1 quadrillion operations per second or more can be carried
> out. Now, 1
> quadrillion atoms is quite small, but if you want orders of
> magnitude mor
> computing power, you have to have as many atoms as well. This
> can only go on
> for so long, as space would surely be at a premium on
> spaceships. To get
> around this, you could use gravitational pull to compress the
> atoms into a
> sort of miniature black hole, but with all those atoms, more
> power could be
> derived from one computer. This could possibly go on indefinately.

This one is less problematic. You might possibly be able to store
information in a miniature black hole, but you can't retrieve it from one.
For the foreseeable future, quantum computers are the limit of what we can

The one thing you can say for certain about the future is that it will
probably be different from what you imagined - unless your name is Verne,
Clark or Asimov....I direct your attention to one of Asimov's short stories:
"Let There Be Light".

Lee Parker