Scientific Boom?

Discussion in 'Science and Technology' started by antagon, Jun 3, 2010.

  1. antagon
    Offline

    antagon The Man

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2009
    Messages:
    3,572
    Thanks Received:
    285
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Ratings:
    +286
    Can anyone corroborate (or refute) that this recession, or the last 18 or so months, seems to be rich with scientific discovery? Despite gloomy news on what the present holds, developments in biotech, like Venter's bacterium, or immunology, like Lerner Institute's breast cancer vaccine, project exciting prospects for the future.

    Nanotech developments in atomic-level I/O stand to revolutionize the clunky gadgetry we associate with technology, entirely. Stretching further back, the accessibility of technologies has run retrograde to other inflationary trends, and due to persistent discovery. For example, I remember when a 2X CD-ROM would set you back $750. Now a mobile computer with the ability to burn and label DVDs can be had for that, leaving plenty cash to spare.

    Has anyone else noticed how prolific the science community has been lately, and the diverse angles that all of this technology is coming from?

    What are the implications of all this. Might we have another tech wave to ride like the nineties?
     
  2. Bill O'Olberman
    Offline

    Bill O'Olberman Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2009
    Messages:
    818
    Thanks Received:
    124
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Location:
    Virginia
    Ratings:
    +124
  3. antagon
    Offline

    antagon The Man

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2009
    Messages:
    3,572
    Thanks Received:
    285
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Ratings:
    +286
    perhaps too reductionist, bill.

    the implications of moore's give rise to another set of exponents in technology. with miniaturization and processing strength brought about by these 'expected' advances in semiconductor tech, more applications of technology and more accessibility to further research is being enabled. the fact that common cell-phones outperform my apple IIe or 386 from back in the day is a good example. the returns from each dot plotted on moore's curve, combined with the remaining 50%-90% of technology peripheral to processors, are also greater and greater around every corner.

    might we reap the benefits?
     
  4. rdean
    Offline

    rdean rddean

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2009
    Messages:
    60,001
    Thanks Received:
    6,876
    Trophy Points:
    1,840
    Location:
    chicago
    Ratings:
    +14,866
    It will take more scientists and engineers to keep it going.
     
  5. antagon
    Offline

    antagon The Man

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2009
    Messages:
    3,572
    Thanks Received:
    285
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Ratings:
    +286
    will it? i think it is indicated that virtually everything is getting less labor intensive. is science or engineering really an exception?
     
  6. FA_Q2
    Offline

    FA_Q2 Gold Member

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2009
    Messages:
    14,217
    Thanks Received:
    2,072
    Trophy Points:
    255
    Location:
    Washington State
    Ratings:
    +4,265
    Science is certainly moving at an unprecedented rate, due largely to computers. I see moores law as rather fantastical though and I believe that discoveries are about to slow down a little and the advancement of the computer is going to slow down a lot.


    Why?


    Well, the current direction in computer tech is putting more and more chips together rather than taking each dye and placing more transistors on it. This is because we are reaching the limitations of the transistor and the more chips that are combined the more complex programming and handling of those cores becomes. At some point, we are going to reach critical mass where it is no longer feasible to continue adding. We are nearing that point though it may still take another 5 to 10 years to get there. At that point we will need to replace the transistor and there is a lot of exiting research that is being done to this. My personal belief is that we will be getting away from the traditional binary to go to a more complex form. That will likely be followed by another explosion in technology that will outstrip the one we are in now.

    I do wonder at what point we will hit the max saturation for the human mind. That is to say, at what point will we become so advanced that it takes a lifetime of study to get to a point in understanding of your field that you are no longer able to make discoveries. Already people are taking 10+ years to become experts in their fields, what happens when it take 40 years. Maybe our life spans will be sufficient to take it at that time.
     
  7. antagon
    Offline

    antagon The Man

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2009
    Messages:
    3,572
    Thanks Received:
    285
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Ratings:
    +286
    funny you mention transistors. i just read about a new junctionless transistor in scientific american. it is a watershed in the stagnation of computing speed these last few years.

    it is a feat of miniturization, employing new manufacture processes to build a micron-thick transistor without the resolution barrier junctions placed on miniturization.
     
  8. rdean
    Offline

    rdean rddean

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2009
    Messages:
    60,001
    Thanks Received:
    6,876
    Trophy Points:
    1,840
    Location:
    chicago
    Ratings:
    +14,866
    Are you saying we need less scientists and engineers? I know most Republicans feel that way. They have no interest in science. Many actually believe science is a "religion".
     
  9. Oddball
    Offline

    Oddball BANNED Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2009
    Messages:
    41,428
    Thanks Received:
    8,397
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Drinking wine, eating cheese, catching rays
    Ratings:
    +8,409
    Are you maybe omitting the fact that with an increase in knowledge, many of the old "facts" become obsolete and only useful in learning how not to make the same mistake twice?

    That can be a real time and gray matter saver.
     
  10. antagon
    Offline

    antagon The Man

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2009
    Messages:
    3,572
    Thanks Received:
    285
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Ratings:
    +286
    yes.

    i would further define 'we' as industry and research science in the united states which is demanding less engineers and scientists year-on-year, despite an acceleration of research dividends. the functions of engineering and research science are less and less labor intensive as indicated by these trends.

    republicans, democrats and religion has nothing to do with that, does it?
     

Share This Page