Text in English; Para o texto em português, role para o próximo post.
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, in his excellent “A Study in Scarlet”, describes Sherlock Holmes as the author of an article defending that “From a drop of water, a logician could infer the possibility of an Atlantic or a Niagara without having seen or heard of one or the other. So all life is a great chain, the nature of which is known whenever we are shown a single link of it….”. Similarly we can infer an Atlantic, taking as a starting point Gil Giardelli’s lecture “Tudo que é sólido desmancha na rede” (All that is solid, melts into Web) that he opens, with intelligence and premonition, paraphrasing Karl Marx’s sentence “All that is solid, melts into air”
The correlation between the solid and the Atlantic comes from the comparison we make between Einstein’s model for a material in the solid state and the equivalent model for the material in the liquid state. In Einstein’s Solid, there are masses (atoms) vibrating as if they were attached to springs (electromagnetic forces) in a tight correlation where each point of a “primitive network” has a limited number of fixed first neighbors (6 in the solid cubic structure – Figure 1)
When Mr. Giardelli compares the Web with a “solid dissolution”, this sends us to the melting process, and consequently the physical model we use to describe a liquid (hence Sherlock Holmes’ drop): each node in this new network (an atom or molecule of liquid or a Web surfer) is related to a variety of neighbors and, most important: dynamically, without keeping fixed links (van der Walls forces), that can flow and maintain permanent contact with first, second, third … neighbors permanently on the move (Figure 2).
Far beyond the Atlantic speculation we can find strong trends in the Web: if we extend our model to the other physical States of matter: after you increase the entropy of the system (even broader and flexible interactions), you get the vapor state. Our model succeeds as we can draw here a parallel with the “cloud computing” similar to that existing in the cloud droplets (in the steam phase) that interact with further integration. We can say goodbye to the fear of loosing personal data or transfer data each 3 to 4 years from punch-cards>magnetic-tapes>flexible-disks>flopy-disks>CD-R>CD-RW>pen-drives>… in the present days we can throw away all the storage media and keep our personal data somewhere else – we are in the steam (cloud computing) age.
Above this state of matter we reach the gas state, yet to appear on the Web -not to be mistaken with steam- , in which each unit (Atom/molecule/Web surfer) has full autonomy, speed, freedom and complex interaction with their neighbors with several orders of proximity, reaching its entire universe (the volume that contains the gas) with determinant effects on its macroscopic properties.
But Physics does not stop here: The following step is the plasma state: an ion gas with high energy, where the atoms have lost their external electrons, acquiring interestin properties. Plasma is the material that we find in the ionosphere: It can emit/reflect/refract/split electromagnetic radiation. Taking into account the nanosciences present evolution and “on-the-road” Qubits for quantum computation, the present analogy drives us to the ionosphere model This is the one to bet for the future of the Web.