The ultimate limits of computing – a computer the size of earth

H. Bremermann proved in 1962 that “No data processing system, whether artificial or living, can process more than 2 x 1047 bits per second per gram of its mass,” which means that a hypothetical supercomputer the size of earth (= about 6 x 1027 grams) grinding away for as long as the earth has existed (= about 1010 years) can have processed at most 2.56 x 2092 bits, which number is known as Bremermann’s Limit.

Calculations involving numbers larger than 2.56 x 2092 are called transcomputational problems, meaning they’re not even theoretically doable; and there are plenty of such problems in statistical physics, complexity theory, fractals, etc.

Everything and More by David Foster Wallace

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: