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Archive for the ‘computing’ category

Aug 18, 2019

Researchers build a heat shield just 10 atoms thick to protect electronic devices

Posted by in categories: computing, mobile phones, particle physics

Excess heat given off by smartphones, laptops and other electronic devices can be annoying, but beyond that it contributes to malfunctions and, in extreme cases, can even cause lithium batteries to explode.

To guard against such ills, engineers often insert glass, plastic or even layers of air as insulation to prevent heat-generating components like microprocessors from causing damage or discomforting users.

Now, Stanford researchers have shown that a few layers of atomically , stacked like sheets of paper atop hot spots, can provide the same insulation as a sheet of glass 100 times thicker. In the near term, thinner heat shields will enable engineers to make even more compact than those we have today, said Eric Pop, professor of electrical engineering and senior author of a paper published Aug. 16 in Science Advances.

Aug 18, 2019

How will quantum computing change the world? | The Economist

Posted by in categories: computing, encryption, quantum physics

The potential for quantum computing to crack other countries’ encrypted networks has captured the attention of national governments. Which of the world’s fundamental challenges could be solved by quantum computing?

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Aug 17, 2019

U.S. Army Troops to Get New Sci-Fi Helmet

Posted by in categories: computing, space travel

Essentially you could use the body and a computer even modify and enhance the processes even modify the wetware making things stronger and faster. Essentially like master chief from the halo series.


The U.S. Army is testing a new helmet designed to offer full ballistic protection to a soldier’s entire head. Looking like something out of Starship Troopers, the Integrated Head Protection System (IHPS) protects a soldier’s entire head, including for the first time the face and jaw, from injury. The helmet, developed by 3M subsidiary Ceradyne Systems, is scheduled to head to the troops next year.

Aug 17, 2019

Researchers Have Built The Most Complex Light-Based Quantum Computer Chip Ever

Posted by in categories: computing, mobile phones, particle physics, quantum physics

In a world-first, researchers have created a quantum chip that contains four entangled particles of light, known as photons, and is capable of performing actions over hundreds of channels simultaneously.

Or to put that into context, they’ve come closer than ever before to building a chip that’s similar to the ones in our smartphones and computers, but that has the potential to perform exponentially more calculations, and can process data at the speed of light. Sounds good, right?

“This represents an unprecedented level of sophistication in generating entangled photons on a chip,” said co-lead researcher David Moss, from Swinburne University of Technology in Australia.

Aug 16, 2019

Newfound Superconductor Material Could Be the ‘Silicon of Quantum Computers’

Posted by in categories: computing, quantum physics

A potentially useful material for building quantum computers has been unearthed at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), whose scientists have found a superconductor that could sidestep one of the primary obstacles standing in the way of effective quantum logic circuits.

Newly discovered properties in the compound uranium ditelluride, or UTe2, show that it could prove highly resistant to one of the nemeses of quantum computer development — the difficulty with making such a computer’s memory storage switches, called qubits, function long enough to finish a computation before losing the delicate physical relationship that allows them to operate as a group. This relationship, called quantum coherence, is hard to maintain because of disturbances from the surrounding world.

Continue reading “Newfound Superconductor Material Could Be the ‘Silicon of Quantum Computers’” »

Aug 15, 2019

Schrödinger’s cat with 20 qubits

Posted by in categories: computing, particle physics, quantum physics

Dead or alive, left-spinning or right-spinning — in the quantum world particles such as the famous analogy of Schrödinger’s cat can be all these things at the same time. An international team, together with experts from Forschungszentrum Jülich, have now succeeded in transforming 20 entangled quantum bits into such a state of superposition. The generation of such atomic Schrödinger cat states is regarded as an important step in the development of quantum computers.

Aug 14, 2019

Attackers Use Backdoor and RAT Cocktail to Target the Balkans

Posted by in categories: computing, security

Several countries have been targeted by a long-term campaign operated by financially motivated threat actors who used a backdoor and a remote access Trojan (RAT) malicious combo to take control of infected computers.

The two malicious payloads dubbed BalkanDoor and BalkanRAT by the ESET researchers who spotted them have been previously detected in the wild by the Croatian CERT in 2017 and, even earlier, by a Serbian security outfit in 2016.

However, ESET was the first to make the connection between them, after observing several quite significant overlaps in the entities targeted by their operators, as well as Tactics, Techniques, and Procedures (TTP) similarities.

Aug 14, 2019

A Newfound Neuron Might Help Keep the Brain’s Cells in Sync

Posted by in categories: computing, neuroscience

A long-standing controversy in neuroscience centers on a simple question: How do neurons in the brain share information? Sure, it’s well-known that neurons are wired together by synapses and that when one of them fires, it sends an electrical signal to other neurons connected to it. But that simple model leaves a lot of unanswered questions—for example, where exactly in neurons’ firing is information stored? Resolving these questions could help us understand the physical nature of a thought.

Two theories attempt to explain how neurons encode information: the rate code model and the temporal code model. In the rate code model, the rate at which neurons fire is the key feature. Count the number of spikes in a certain time interval, and that number gives you the information. In the temporal code model, the relative timing between firings matters more—information is stored in the specific pattern of intervals between spikes, vaguely like Morse code. But the temporal code model faces a difficult question: If a gap is “longer” or “shorter,” it has to be longer or shorter relative to something. For the temporal code model to work, the brain needs to have a kind of metronome, a steady beat to allow the gaps between firings to hold meaning.

Every computer has an internal clock to synchronize its activities across different chips. If the temporal code model is right, the brain should have something similar. Some neuroscientists posit that the clock is in the gamma rhythm, a semiregular oscillation of brain waves. But it doesn’t stay consistent. It can speed up or slow down depending on what a person experiences, such as a bright light. Such a fickle clock didn’t seem like the full story for how neurons synchronize their signals, leading to ardent disagreements in the field about whether the gamma rhythm meant anything at all.

Aug 13, 2019

How scientists use household bleach and quantum physics to hunt down cancer

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, computing, quantum physics

A team of scientists from MIT and Rice University recently discovered a new method for creating qubits that could revolutionize both quantum computing and cancer research – and all it takes is some household bleach and a UV light.

Qubits are the basic units of information used in quantum computing. Typically, when scientists create them they go through a complex process involving lasers or shearing single photons off of light using complex, difficult-to-work-with reactants that produce unwanted side-effects. These time consuming methods often require trial-and-error and seldom produce perfect results.

Aug 13, 2019

Platform for lab-grown heart cells lets researchers examine functional effects of drugs

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical, computing

Animal models provide benefits for biomedical research, but translating such findings to human physiology can be difficult. The human heart’s energy needs and functions are difficult to reproduce in other animals, such as mice and rats. One new system looks to circumvent these issues and provide a functional view of how different treatments can help ailing cells in the heart following oxygen and nutrient deprivations.

Researchers have unveiled a new silicon chip that holds human lab-grown for assessing the effectiveness of new drugs. The system includes heart cells, called cardiomyocytes, patterned on the chip with electrodes that can both stimulate and measure within the cells. The researchers discuss their work in this week’s APL Bioengineering.

These capabilities provide a way for determining how the restriction of blood supply, a dangerous state known as ischemia, changes a heart’s conduction velocity, beat frequency and important electrical intervals associated with heart function.

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