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Nov 27, 2020

Protein storytelling through physics

Posted by in categories: biological, physics, robotics/AI

Computational molecular physics (CMP) aims to leverage the laws of physics to understand not just static structures but also the motions and actions of biomolecules. Applying CMP to proteins has required either simplifying the physical models or running simulations that are shorter than the time scale of the biological activity. Brini et al. reviewed advances that are moving CMP to time scales that match biological events such as protein folding, ligand unbinding, and some conformational changes. They also highlight the role of blind competitions in driving the field forward. New methods such as deep learning approaches are likely to make CMP an increasingly powerful tool in describing proteins in action.

Science, this issue p.

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Nov 26, 2020

Trillion-transistor chip breaks speed record

Posted by in categories: physics, robotics/AI, supercomputing

The biggest computer chip in the world is so fast and powerful it can predict future actions “faster than the laws of physics produce the same result.”

That’s according to a post by Cerebras Systems, a that made the claim at the online SC20 supercomputing conference this week.

Working with the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory, Cerebras designed what it calls “the world’s most powerful AI compute system.” It created a massive chip 8.5 inch-square chip, the Cerebras CS-1, housed in a refrigerator-sized computer in an effort to improve on deep-learning training models.

Nov 26, 2020

Physicists Pin Down the Nuclear Reaction Just After the Big Bang

Posted by in categories: cosmology, physics

The newly measured rate of a key nuclear fusion process that forged the first atomic nuclei matches the picture of the universe 380,000 years later.

Nov 25, 2020

Physicists Successfully Modify a Semiconductor to Create a Superconductor

Posted by in categories: computing, mobile phones, physics

Three physicists in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, together with their colleagues from the Southern University of Science and Technology and Sun Yat-sen University in China, have successfully modified a semiconductor to create a superconductor.

Professor and Department Head Hanno Weitering, Associate Professor Steve Johnston, and PhD candidate Tyler Smith were part of the team that made the breakthrough in fundamental research, which may lead to unforeseen advancements in technology.

Semiconductors are electrical insulators but conduct electrical currents under special circumstances. They are an essential component in many of the electronic circuits used in everyday items including mobile phones, digital cameras, televisions, and computers.

Continue reading “Physicists Successfully Modify a Semiconductor to Create a Superconductor” »

Nov 25, 2020

Physicists Say Universe Filled With Mystery Substance Called “Quintessence”

Posted by in categories: cosmology, physics

Paging Philip Pullman.

Nov 24, 2020

Physicists could do the ‘impossible’: Create and destroy magnetic fields from afar

Posted by in category: physics

Physicists have found a way to induce and cancel magnetic fields from a distance.

Nov 23, 2020

The Sounds of Spacetime

Posted by in categories: cosmology, physics

O,.o this reveals the hertz of the spacetime continuum: 3.


In the biggest events in the universe, massive black holes collide with a chirp and a ring. Physicists are finding ways to listen in.

Nov 23, 2020

Can a Computer Devise a Theory of Everything?

Posted by in categories: computing, physics

It might be possible, physicists say, but not anytime soon. And there’s no guarantee that we humans will understand the result.

Nov 23, 2020

World’s biggest computer chip can simulate the future ‘faster than the laws of physics’, creators claim

Posted by in categories: computing, physics

Trillion-transistor chip can run real-world simulations with over a million variables faster than real-time.

Nov 23, 2020

Scientists observe directed energy transport between neighboring molecules in a nanomaterial

Posted by in categories: chemistry, nanotechnology, physics, solar power, sustainability

When light falls on a material, such as a green leaf or the retina, certain molecules transport energy and charge. This ultimately leads to the separation of charges and the generation of electricity. Molecular funnels, so-called conical intersections, ensure that this transport is highly efficient and directed.

An international team of physicists has now observed that such conical intersections also ensure a directed energy transport between neighboring of a nanomaterial. Theoretical simulations have confirmed the . Until now, scientists had observed this phenomenon only within one molecule. In the long term, the results could help to develop more efficient nanomaterials for organic solar cells, for example. The study, led by Antonietta De Sio, University of Oldenburg, and Thomas Frauenheim, University of Bremen, Germany, was published in the current issue of the scientific journal Nature Nanotechnology.

Photochemical processes play a major role in nature and in technology: When molecules absorb light, their electrons transit to an excited state. This transition triggers extremely fast molecular switching processes. In the human eye, for example, the molecule rhodopsin rotates in a certain way after absorbing light and thus ultimately triggers an electrical signal—the most elementary step in the visual process.

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