Re: cramming megabytes into a hydrogen atom

Forrest Bishop (
Sun, 10 Nov 1996 20:21:30 -0800

>Anders Sandberg wrote,
>> if you try to store information in a spherical volume with a
>> finite amount of matter/energy inside, the uncertainty relations
tell you
>> that there is a limit of how many distinguishable states there can
>> inside, ergo the amount of information you can store there. This is
>> Bekenstein Bound, which says that the amount of information that can
>> stored is proportional to the radius and the energy inside the
>> (it is a very loose bound,
>> *you can cram several megabytes into a hydrogen atom* (!!!)
If he means by distinguishing superposed electronic
states of a hydrogen atom (or molecule), that is a
_very_ tall order. Proximity effects from other atoms
will also disturb the system, limiting the volumetric
efficiency at the macroscopic scale.
Or is the state space of the entire system read/written to?
If so, thrre is a problem in determining the boundaries
of the system.

If the method involves degenerate states (i.e. neutronium)
of matter, then perhaps...