Today's dose of overly ambitious tech research comes from the physics lab over at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
, in a proposal titled "Digital quantum batteries: Energy and information storage in nano vacuum tube arrays." It's like a who's who
of undelivered promises
got together and united to form one giant and impossible dream
, but it's one we'd prefer to believe in regardless. Aiming to improve battery performance by "orders of magnitude," the project's fundamental premise is that when capacitors -- and we're talking billions
of them -- are taken to a small enough scale and packed to within 10nm of one another, quantum effects act to prevent energy loss. The projected result is a wonderful world of rapid recharges and storage of up to ten times the energy current lithium-ion packs can hold, as well as the potential for data retention. The only problem? It would take a year just to build a prototype, meaning we can expect market availability somewhere between a score from now and just prior to the underworld morphing into an ice rink.