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May 25, 2020

Counterintuitive Superconductivity and Quantum Computing Breakthrough: Using Pressure to Make Liquid Magnetism

Posted by in categories: computing, quantum physics

Using two flat-top diamonds and a lot of pressure, scientists have forced a magnetic crystal into a spin liquid state, which may lead to insights into high-temperature superconductivity and quantum computing.

It sounds like a riddle: What do you get if you take two small diamonds, put a small magnetic crystal between them and squeeze them together very slowly?

The answer is a magnetic liquid, which seems counterintuitive. Liquids become solids under pressure, but not generally the other way around. But this unusual pivotal discovery, unveiled by a team of researchers working at the Advanced Photon Source (APS), a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science User Facility at DOE’s Argonne National Laboratory, may provide scientists with new insight into high-temperature superconductivity and quantum computing.

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May 24, 2020

World’s First AMD-Only Linux Laptop Officially Announced

Posted by in categories: computing, mobile phones

TUXEDO Computers announces the TUXEDO Book BA15.

May 24, 2020

Physicists exploring use of Blu-ray disc lasers to kill COVID-19, other viruses

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, computing

A new weapon in the arsenal against the coronavirus may be sitting in your home entertainment console. A team led by physicist Chris Barty of the University of California, Irvine is researching the use of diodes from Blu-ray digital video disc devices as deep-ultraviolet laser photon sources to rapidly disinfect surfaces and the indoor air that swirls around us.

Barty, UC Irvine distinguished professor of physics & astronomy, said that such UV light sterilizers would be cheap compared to current medical- and scientific-grade systems and that it’d be possible to deploy them almost anywhere.

“If these sources are successful, I think you could build them into a mask and clean the air that’s coming in and out of you,” he said. “Or you could set these things up in the air circulation ducts of major buildings, and the airflow that goes through could be sterilized.”

May 23, 2020

Researchers Turn a Single Atom Into a Quantum Engine and a Quantum Fridge

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

Here’s a new chapter in the story of the miniaturization of machines: researchers in a laboratory in Singapore have shown that a single atom can function as either an engine or a fridge. Such a device could be engineered into future computers and fuel cells to control energy flows.” Think about how your computer or laptop has a lot of things inside it that heat up. Today you cool that with a fan that blows air. In nanomachines or quantum computers, small devices that do cooling could be something useful,” says Dario Poletti from the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD).

This work gives new insight into the mechanics of such devices. The work is a collaboration involving researchers at the Centre for Quantum Technologies (CQT) and Department of Physics at the National University of Singapore (NUS), SUTD and at the University of Augsburg in Germany. The results were published in the peer-reviewed journal npj Quantum Information on 1 May.

Engines and refrigerators are both machines described by thermodynamics, a branch of science that tells us how energy moves within a system and how we can extract useful work. A classical engine turns energy into useful work. A refrigerator does work to transfer heat, reducing the local temperature. They are, in some sense, opposites.

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May 23, 2020

Inside big tech’s high-stakes race for quantum supremacy

Posted by in categories: computing, quantum physics

Quantum computers used to be an impossible dream. Now, after a decade of research by some of the world’s biggest tech companies, they’re on the verge of changing everything.

May 23, 2020

New chip brings ultra-low power Wi-Fi connectivity to IoT devices

Posted by in categories: computing, habitats, internet, media & arts, wearables

More portable, fully wireless smart home setups. Lower power wearables. Batteryless smart devices. These could all be made possible thanks to a new ultra-low power Wi-Fi radio developed by electrical engineers at the University of California San Diego.

The device, which is housed in a chip smaller than a grain of rice, enables Internet of Things (IoT) devices to communicate with existing Wi-Fi networks using 5,000 times less than today’s Wi-Fi radios. It consumes just 28 microwatts of power. And it does so while transmitting data at a rate of 2 megabits per second (a connection fast enough to stream music and most YouTube videos) over a range of up to 21 meters.

The team will present their work at the ISSCC 2020 conference Feb. 16 to 20 in San Francisco.

May 23, 2020

Critical “Starbleed” vulnerability in FPGA chips identified

Posted by in categories: computing, encryption, mobile phones, security

April 2020


Field programmable gate arrays, FPGAs for short, are flexibly programmable computer chips that are considered very secure components in many applications. In a joint research project, scientists from the Horst Görtz Institute for IT Security at Ruhr-Universität Bochum and from Max Planck Institute for Security and Privacy have now discovered that a critical vulnerability is hidden in these chips. They called the security bug “Starbleed.” Attackers can gain complete control over the chips and their functionalities via the vulnerability. Since the bug is integrated into the hardware, the security risk can only be removed by replacing the chips. The manufacturer of the FPGAs has been informed by the researchers and has already reacted.

The researchers will present the results of their work at the 29th Usenix Security Symposium to be held in August 2020 in Boston, Massachusetts, U.S… The has been available for download on the Usenix website since April 15, 2020.

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May 23, 2020

Ultra-dense optical data transmission over standard fibre with a single chip source

Posted by in categories: computing, quantum physics

Micro-combs — optical frequency combs generated by integrated micro-cavity resonators – offer the full potential of their bulk counterparts, but in an integrated footprint. They have enabled breakthroughs in many fields including spectroscopy, microwave photonics, frequency synthesis, optical ranging, quantum sources, metrology and ultrahigh capacity data transmission. Here, by using a powerful class of micro-comb called soliton crystals, we achieve ultra-high data transmission over 75 km of standard optical fibre using a single integrated chip source. We demonstrate a line rate of 44.2 Terabits s−1 using the telecommunications C-band at 1550 nm with a spectral efficiency of 10.4 bits s−1 Hz−1. Soliton crystals exhibit robust and stable generation and operation as well as a high intrinsic efficiency that, together with an extremely low soliton micro-comb spacing of 48.9 GHz enable the use of a very high coherent data modulation format (64 QAM — quadrature amplitude modulated). This work demonstrates the capability of optical micro-combs to perform in demanding and practical optical communications networks.

May 22, 2020

Replicating reality

Posted by in categories: chemistry, computing, neuroscience, quantum physics

Molecular dynamics is at the point of simulating bulk matter – but don’t expect it to predict the future.

The TV series Devs took as its premise the idea that a quantum computer of sufficient power could simulate the world so completely that it could project events accurately back into the distant past (the Crucifixion or prehistory) and predict the future. At face value somewhat absurd, the scenario supplied a framework on which to hang questions about determinism and free will (and less happily, the Many Worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics).

Quite what quantum computers will do for molecular simulations remains to be seen, but the excitement about them shouldn’t eclipse the staggering advances still being made in classical simulation. Full ab initio quantum-chemical calculations are very computationally expensive even with the inevitable approximations they entail, so it has been challenging to bring this degree of precision to traditional molecular dynamics, where molecular interactions are still typically described by classical potentials. Even simulating pure water, where accurate modelling of hydrogen bonding and the ionic disassociation of molecules involves quantum effects, has been tough.

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May 22, 2020

A fault-tolerant non-Clifford gate for the surface code in two dimensions

Posted by in categories: computing, information science, quantum physics

Fault-tolerant logic gates will consume a large proportion of the resources of a two-dimensional quantum computing architecture. Here we show how to perform a fault-tolerant non-Clifford gate with the surface code; a quantum error-correcting code now under intensive development. This alleviates the need for distillation or higher-dimensional components to complete a universal gate set. The operation uses both local transversal gates and code deformations over a time that scales with the size of the qubit array. An important component of the gate is a just-in-time decoder. These decoding algorithms allow us to draw upon the advantages of three-dimensional models using only a two-dimensional array of live qubits. Our gate is completed using parity checks of weight no greater than four. We therefore expect it to be amenable with near-future technology. As the gate circumvents the need for magic-state distillation, it may reduce the resource overhead of surface-code quantum computation considerably.

A scalable quantum computer is expected to solve difficult problems that are intractable with classical technology. Scaling such a machine to a useful size will necessarily require fault-tolerant components that protect quantum information as the data is processed (14). If we are to see the realization of a quantum computer, its design must respect the constraints of the quantum architecture that can be prepared in the laboratory. In many cases, for instance, superconducting qubits (57), this restricts us to two-dimensional architectures.

Leading candidate models for fault-tolerant quantum computation are based on the surface code (3, 8) due to its high threshold (9) and multitude of ways of performing Clifford gates (10). Universal quantum computation is possible if this gate set is supplemented by a non-Clifford gate. Among the most feasible approaches to realize a non-Clifford gate is by the use of magic-state distillation (11). However, this is somewhat prohibitive as a large fraction of the resources of a quantum computer will be expended by these protocols (12, 13).

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