Wiring the quantum computer of the future: A novel simple build with existing technology

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Efficient quantum computing is expected to enable advancements that are impossible with classical computers. Scientists from Japan and Sydney have collaborated and proposed a novel two-dimensional design that can be constructed using existing integrated circuit technology. This design solves typical problems facing the current three-dimensional packaging for scaled-up quantum computers, bringing the future one step closer.

Quantum computing is increasingly becoming the focus of scientists in fields such as physics and chemistry, and industrialists in the pharmaceutical, airplane, and automobile industries. Globally, research labs at companies like Google and IBM are spending extensive resources on improving quantum computers, and with good reason. Quantum computers use the fundamentals of quantum mechanics to process significantly greater amounts of information much faster than classical computers. It is expected that when error-corrected and fault-tolerant quantum computation is achieved, scientific and technological advancement will occur at an unprecedented scale.

But building quantum computers for large-scale computation is proving to be a challenge in terms of their architecture. The basic units of a quantum computer are the “quantum bits” or “qubits.” These are typically atoms, ions, photons, subatomic particles such as electrons, or even larger elements that simultaneously exist in multiple states, making it possible to obtain several potential outcomes rapidly for large volumes of data. The theoretical requirement for quantum computers is that these are arranged in two-dimensional (2-D) arrays, where each qubit is both coupled with its nearest neighbor and connected to the necessary external control lines and devices. When the number of qubits in an array is increased, it becomes difficult to reach qubits in the interior of the array from the edge. The need to solve this problem has so far resulted in complex three-dimensional (3-D) wiring systems across multiple planes in which many wires intersect, making their construction a significant engineering challenge.

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Researchers unveil electronics that mimic the human brain in efficient learning

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Researchers unveil electronics that mimic the human brain in efficient learning

A graphic depiction of protein nanowires (green) harvested from microbe Geobacter (orange) facilitate the electronic memristor device (silver) to function with biological voltages, emulating the neuronal components (blue junctions) in a brain. Credit: UMass Amherst/Yao lab

Only 10 years ago, scientists working on what they hoped would open a new frontier of neuromorphic computing could only dream of a device using miniature tools called memristors that would function/operate like real brain synapses.

But now a team at the University of Massachusetts Amherst has discovered, while on their way to better understanding protein nanowires, how to use these biological, electricity conducting filaments to make a neuromorphic memristor, or “memory transistor,” device. It runs extremely efficiently on very low power, as brains do, to carry signals between neurons. Details are in Nature Communications.

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Hot qubits break one of the biggest constraints to practical quantum computers

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Most quantum computers being developed around the world will only work at fractions of a degree above absolute zero. That requires multi-million-dollar refrigeration and as soon as you plug them into conventional electronic circuits they’ll instantly overheat.

But now researchers led by Professor Andrew Dzurak at UNSW Sydney have addressed this problem.

“Our new results open a path from experimental devices to affordable quantum computers for real world business and government applications,” says Professor Dzurak.

The researchers’ proof-of-concept quantum processor unit cell, on a silicon chip, works at 1.5 Kelvin—15 times warmer than the main competing chip-based technology being developed by Google, IBM, and others, which uses superconducting qubits.

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Smart Socks with textile pressure sensors, that can be washed

 

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Fraunhofer textile sensor

Flexible mechanical sensors that can be bonded or sewn into woven or knitted fabrics have been developed by German research lab Fraunhofer ISC.

 Deformation, force and pressure can be measured, and strains up to 100% (doubling length) can be endured.

It is an elastomer film with flexible electrodes on both sides. Electrode patterning can be used to create an array of sensors. Silicone rubber is the preferred elastomer, with chemical cross-linking allowing hardness to be tuned.

“The textile-integrated sensors are washable, show a high wearing comfort and are reasonable in price,” said the lab. “They are applicable in medical devices, for preventing bed sores or for localising the pressure distribution in shoes, for example. They can also support personal training by measuring the posture via the clothes, or as an input device for game and fitness device controlling.”

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Simple new method makes graphene “paint” possible

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Researchers have found a simple way to make graphene disperse in water, paving the way for graphene-based inks or paints

 Graphene may be versatile, but there’s one thing it’s not all that good at – dispersing in water. Now, researchers at Umeå University have found a relatively simple way to do it. Graphene oxide is a different form of the material that can make for stable water dispersion, which can then be used as a kind of graphene paint.

Graphene is essentially a two-dimensional sheet of carbon atoms, arranged in a hexagonal pattern. This deceptively simple material has a range of useful properties – it’s incredibly lightweight, thin and flexible, but still strong. It’s also an excellent conductor of electricity and heat, so it’s turning up in everything from electronics to water filters to clothing.

Ideally, one useful way to get graphene into the right configurations could involve dispersing it in water. This solution could then be painted or sprayed onto a surface to make, for example, supercapacitor electrodes or conductive coatings.

The problem is that graphene and similar forms of carbon, like graphite and carbon nanotubes, are hydrophobic, meaning they repel water. They can be made to disperse using harsh organic solvents or mechanical treatments, but the former is toxic and the latter can introduce defects.

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Scientists have created a new type of robot that is literally alive

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Sitting in a petri dish in the laboratories of Tufts University and the University of Vermont are a new kind of life form — half living cells and half machine. Xenobots are a scientific and technological breakthrough — a living organism that is fully programmable, capable of changing form and function essentially on command. The new type of bot was first introduced earlier this year, and thanks to a report from the New York Times, we now have a look behind the process of creating the novel creatures that have the potential to bridge the divide between the mechanical and biological.

Xenobots are not like any creature you’ve seen before. In fact, you can’t really see them at all. These so-called living machines look like little more than a speck to the naked eye, measuring up at about one millimeter wide. The idea for the new organisms was first dreamed up on a supercomputer at the University of Vermont. Researchers ran hundreds of simulations using what they called an “evolutionary algorithm” that would simulate different types of cells. It finally landed on the design for what would become the Xenobot. To bring that design to life, scientists scraped thousands of living skin cells from frog embryos — specifically the African clawed frog Xenopus laevis, hence the name Xenobot. After separating the cells and allowing them to incubate, the researchers used a tiny forceps and electrode to cut and assemble the cells under a microscope until they were assembled in a way that matched the supercomputer’s blueprint.

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This new all-electric VTOL is the airplane-helicopter combo the future always promised

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The Jaunt Journey Is a Combination Helicopter and Airplane Jaunt Air Mobility

 Jaunt Air Mobility says the Journey will have 175-mph cruise speed and be 65 percent quieter than a traditional helicopter, all with a silky-smooth ride.

With Uber Elevate’s announcement that it plans to start its first urban air mobility network in 2023, the electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) race is on. Uber’s partnership with Joby is big news, as is Joby’s electric four-person aircraft, but Jaunt Air Mobility could be an equally important partner.

Jaunt has introduced the Journey, a radically different type of “compound aircraft” that combines what it sees as the best features of helicopters and fixed-wing airplanes. Technically, it’s called a gyrocopter, an aircraft type that has been around since the mid-‘30s.

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NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope full mirror deployment a success

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The primary mirror of NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope is planned to be deployed only once more on Earth, before being packaged for delivery to South America.

In a recent test, NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope fully deployed its primary mirror into the same configuration it will have when in space.

As Webb progresses towards liftoff in 2021, technicians and engineers have been diligently checking off a long list of final tests the observatory will undergo before being packaged for delivery to French Guiana for launch. Performed in early March, this procedure involved commanding the spacecraft’s internal systems to fully extend and latch Webb’s iconic 21 feet 4-inch (6.5 meter) primary mirror, appearing just like it would after it has been launched to orbit. The observatory is currently in a cleanroom at Northrop Grumman Space Systems in Redondo Beach, California.

The difficulty and complexity of performing tests for Webb has increased significantly, now that the observatory has been fully assembled. Special gravity offsetting equipment was attached to Webb’s mirror to simulate the zero-gravity environment its mechanisms will have to operate in. Tests like these help safeguard mission success by physically demonstrating that the spacecraft is able to move and unfold as intended. The Webb team will deploy the observatory’s primary mirror only once more on the ground, just before preparing it for delivery to the launch site.

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Energy-harvesting design aims to turn Wi-Fi signals into usable power

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Terahertz waves are pervasive in our daily lives, and if harnessed, their concentrated power could potentially serve as an alternate energy source. Imagine, for instance, a cellphone add-on that passively soaks up ambient T-rays and uses their energy to charge your phone.

Any device that sends out a Wi-Fi signal also emits terahertz waves —electromagnetic waves with a frequency somewhere between microwaves and infrared light. These high-frequency radiation waves, known as “T-rays,” are also produced by almost anything that registers a temperature, including our own bodies and the inanimate objects around us.

Terahertz waves are pervasive in our daily lives, and if harnessed, their concentrated power could potentially serve as an alternate energy source. Imagine, for instance, a cellphone add-on that passively soaks up ambient T-rays and uses their energy to charge your phone. However, to date, terahertz waves are wasted energy, as there has been no practical way to capture and convert them into any usable form.

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This company wants to turn your windows into solar panels

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Ubiquitous Energy solar glass

San Francisco (CNN Business)What if every window in your house could generate electricity? One Redwood City, California-based startup thinks its technology can achieve that by transforming the way solar power is collected and harnessed.

Ubiquitous Energy has developed transparent solar cells to create its ClearView Power windows, a kind of “solar glass” that can turn sunlight into energy without needing the bluish-grey opaque panels those cells are generally associated with. The company, spun out of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2012, hopes to use that tech to turn practically any everyday glass surface into a solar cell.

“It can be applied to windows of skyscrapers; it can be applied to glass in automobiles; it can be applied to the glass on your iPhone,” Miles Barr, Ubiquitous Energy’s founder and chief technology officer, told CNN Business.

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Universal cancer blood test detects and locates 50 types of tumors

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A new universal cancer blood test can spot over 50 types of tumors and identify where they are in the body

 Cancer is one of humanity’s leading killers, and the main reason for that is it’s often hard to detect until it’s too late. But that might be about to change. Researchers have developed a new type of AI-powered blood test that can accurately detect over 50 different types of cancer and even identify where it is in the body.

There are just so many types of cancer that it’s virtually impossible to keep an eye out for all of them through routine tests. Instead, the disease usually isn’t detected until doctors begin specifically looking for it, after a patient experiences symptoms. And in many cases, by then it can be too late.

Ideally, there would be a routine test patients can undergo that would flag any type of cancer that may be budding in the body, giving treatment the best shot of being successful. And that’s just what the new study is working towards.

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“I feel weightless”: Nike-backed researchers invent a wearable robot that makes you faster

 

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“It can do things that your muscles can’t do.”

As workout studios close their doors amid a global pandemic, people are left with one of the cheapest and easiest ways to break a sweat: running.

But just because you know you could be running, doesn’t mean you’ll actually go out and jog. That’s where a new Nike-funded research team comes in. They want to help people struggling to go the distance — and invented a wearable ankle “exoskeleton” that makes running 14 PERCENT EASIER AND ENERGY-EFFICIENT compared to normal running shoes.

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