On Sun, 15 Jun 2014 02:51:49 +0100, Joshua Landau wrote:

> On 12 June 2014 03:08, Steven D'Aprano
> <steve+comp.lang.pyt...@pearwood.info> wrote:
>> We know *much more* about generating energy from E = mc^2 than we know
>> about optimally flipping bits: our nuclear reactions convert something
>> of the order of 0.1% of their fuel to energy, that is, to get a certain
>> yield, we "merely" have to supply about a thousand times more fuel than
>> we theoretically needed. That's about a thousand times better than the
>> efficiency of current bit-flipping technology.
> You're comparing a one-use device to a trillion-use device. I think
> that's unfair.
> Tell me when you find an atom splitter that works a trillion times. 
> Then tell me what it's efficiency is, because it's not nearly 0.1%.

Nuclear bombs may only get used once, but nuclear reactors get used 
continuously for years or decades, and like I already said, their 
efficiency is around 0.1% (mass converted to energy). There are also 
various types of atomic batteries, such as radioisotope thermoelectric 
generators, which convert the radiation given off by radioactive 
substances to electricity. They are typically expected to have an 
effective working life of a decade or more.

Steven D'Aprano

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