This has been reported all over the Web, but it is just too good to pass up, especially since the year in the Quantum Computing world started on a somewhat more contentious note (more about this in the next blog post).
This news item on the other hand deserves to be the first in the new year and is entirely positive: I was expecting carbon nanotubes to eventually become the material of choice for electric wiring but I didn’t expect it to happen this soon. The video that is embedded below, makes the compelling case that a research team at Rice university not only managed to produce wires superior to any metal wire, but also at the same time, to develop a production process that can be readily scaled up.
Being able to produce these kind of wires at a competitive price will go a long way to ameliorate one of humanity’s key resource problems: Peak copper (a term coined after the more publicized peak oil prognosis). And this resource constraint is anything but theoretical. Copper prices have so increased over the last ten years that copper theft became a serious global problem, one that often endangers lives when critical infrastructure is destroyed.
These new copper nanotube wires have the potential to substitute copper wiring in cars, airplanes, microchip as well as residential wiring to just name a few. If the wires are as good as they are made to look in the video, they will be superior to copper wires to such an extend, that it will be simply a matter of price for them to be adopted.
This is the kind of science news I like to hear at the beginning of a new year.