Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Cryo-arithmetic engines?

From the Wikipedia entry on Revelation Space universe technology:


"Cryo-arithmetic engines are a specific class of quantum computer discovered by the Conjoiners. When certain algorithms are executed on processors of this architecture, it leads to a local violation of the Second law of thermodynamics: the computer gets colder instead of hotter. Consequently, cryo-arithmetic engines have massive industrial (as opposed to computational) ramifications for Conjoiner manufacturing; such engines abound in Conjoiner asteroid factories, where their calculations can drain away the heat of starship construction."

I was tickled to note that a number of commentators have drawn a parallel between my made-up pseudo-science and this recent breakthrough:


In the interests of fairness, though, I'd have to point to Greg Bear's excellent novella "Heads" as an earlier example of SF dealing with computation and weird thermodynamics.


  1. Hi Al,
    Yet another case of science fiction (almost) meets science reality? I just wanted to take a moment to let you and other know that I got my copy of "Troika" in the mail today, and the limited edition is exquisite! Bound in beautiful white leather with blue print, and the dust jacket is crisp and clean with fantastic coloring that matches the book. Subterranean Press did you well. I'm honored to own copy 199 of 350.

  2. I can't read 'quantum entanglement' without thinking they've started putting severed heads in engines.