S. Hutter's Advances in Cold-region Thermal Engineering, Sciences [LNP PDF

By S. Hutter

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Breakthroughs will certainly come along. Nothing as dramatic as the discovery of the transistor, however, will be warranted in order to reach three to four times today’s levels of performance/price. Expectedly, the appearance of an earth-shaking breakthrough, a discovery of importance unprecedented during computer history, might define a much higher ceiling to be reached through a follow-up curve. There are more concrete benefits from fitting an S-curve to these data points. The mathematical description of this curve, the logistic function, relates price and performance with time in a quantitative way.

SCIENCE AND FORETELLING On the other hand, an invariant turning into a variable is nothing unusual. A frequent discovery in physics is that something thought of as a constant is, in fact, a limited manifestation of a simple law, which in turn is a special case of a more complicated law, and so on. When the complexity becomes unmanageable, physicists turn toward unification, searching for a general law that will describe a multitude of diverse phenomena, each hitherto abiding by elaborate custom-made rules.

Since S-curves go to zero asymptotically (that is, they become zero only when time equals plus or minus infinity), we take as a nominal beginning the time when 1 percent of the ceiling is reached. In any case, below this level we are talking about a fraction of an exploration. A “beginning” defined in this way points to the year 1340. This date can be considered as the time when the learning process originated, the moment when Europe’s need to explore the west was born. For the best agreement between curve and data, the early-missing-data parameter has to take a value around fifteen.

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Advances in Cold-region Thermal Engineering, Sciences [LNP 0533] by S. Hutter


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