From the abstract:
Can we evaluate the energetic cost of playing with our high-technology equipment? Is the environmental impact of making and running computers significant? Is software any different from the other technology domains? Should a “ping ccc.de” require any fuel be burned or atoms be split?
This talk will attempt to answer some of these questions by describing the main physical mechanisms at hand, and outlining the main patterns in the fuzzy and all-important relation between computing and energy.
The talk will be an informal attempt to:
- Describe the physical nature of information storage and transmission;
- Discuss the existence of a hard-limit to the energy costs for those operations;
- Describe the ecological impact and fundamental limits of the generators powering our equipment; and
- Indulge into suggesting patterns to describe the adoption and relevance of digital technologies.
Instead of a formal academic presentation, the narrator will do his best to present a personal, accessible exploration of the issues and physics at hand. He will be looking to the audience’s input and opinions.