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Oct 14, 2019

New approach for the simulation of quantum chemistry—modelling the molecular architecture

Posted by in categories: chemistry, particle physics, quantum physics, supercomputing

Searching for new substances and developing new techniques in the chemical industry: tasks that are often accelerated using computer simulations of molecules or reactions. But even supercomputers quickly reach their limits. Now researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics in Garching (MPQ) have developed an alternative, analogue approach. An international team around Javier Argüello-Luengo, Ph.D. candidate at the Institute of Photonic Sciences (ICFO), Ignacio Cirac, Director and Head of the Theory Department at the MPQ, Peter Zoller, Director at the Institute of Quantum Optics and Quantum Information in Innsbruck (IQOQI), and others have designed the first blueprint for a quantum simulator that mimics the quantum chemistry of molecules. Like an architectural model can be used to test the statics of a future building, a molecule simulator can support investigating the properties of molecules. The results are now published in the scientific journal Nature.

Using hydrogen, the simplest of all , as an example, the global team of physicists from Garching, Barcelona, Madrid, Beijing and Innsbruck theoretically demonstrate that the quantum simulator can reproduce the behaviour of a real molecule’s . In their work, they also show how experimental physicists can build such a simulator step by step. “Our results offer a new approach to the investigation of phenomena appearing in quantum chemistry,” says Javier Argüello-Luengo. This is highly interesting for chemists because classical computers notoriously struggle to simulate chemical compounds, as molecules obey the laws of quantum physics. An electron in its shell, for example, can rotate to the left and right simultaneously. In a compound of many particles, such as a molecule, the number of these parallel possibilities multiplies. Because each electron interacts with each other, the complexity quickly becomes impossible to handle.

As a way out, in 1982, the American physicist Richard Feynman suggested the following: We should simulate quantum systems by reconstructing them as simplified models in the laboratory from , which are inherently quantum, and therefore implying a parallelism of the possibilities by default. Today, quantum simulators are already in use, for example to imitate crystals. They have a regular, three-dimensional atomic lattice which is imitated by several intersecting , the “optical lattice.” The intersection points form something like wells in an egg carton into which the are filled. The interaction between the atoms can be controlled by amplifying or attenuating the rays. This way researchers gain a variable model in which they can study atomic behavior very precisely.

Oct 14, 2019

Why deep-learning AIs are so easy to fool

Posted by in category: robotics/AI

These are just some examples of how easy it is to break the leading pattern-recognition technology in AI, known as deep neural networks (DNNs). These have proved incredibly successful at correctly classifying all kinds of input, including images, speech and data on consumer preferences. They are part of daily life, running everything from automated telephone systems to user recommendations on the streaming service Netflix. Yet making alterations to inputs — in the form of tiny changes that are typically imperceptible to humans — can flummox the best neural networks around.

Artificial-intelligence researchers are trying to fix the flaws of neural networks.

Oct 14, 2019

First Ever Double-Slit Experiment Performed with Antimatter

Posted by in category: futurism

Positrons traverse two circular 2-mm-wide collimators 10.2 cm apart. The interferometer is composed of two SiN diffraction gratings with periodicity d1 and d2, respectively, separated by L1 = (118.1 ± 0.2) mm. Interference fringes with d3 periodicity are expected at L2 = (576 ± 5) mm. The emulsion is tilted so that the Y axis in the reference frame of the emulsion surface (X, Y) forms a 45° angle with the y axis of the laboratory. Gamma rays (511 keV) from positron annihilation in the emulsion are monitored with a high-purity germanium (HpGe) detector for rate measurement.

Courtesy of

Oct 13, 2019

82-Year-Old Woman With Dementia Gets Her Memory Back After Changing Her Diet

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, neuroscience

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Recently, an 82-year-old woman who suffered from dementia, who couldn’t recognize her own son has miraculously got her memory back after changing her diet.

When his mother’s condition became so severe that for her own safety she had to be kept in the hospital, Mark Hatzer almost came to terms with losing another parent.

Oct 13, 2019

NASA issues plea of action on asteroid threat that could take Earth ‘entirely by surprise’

Posted by in category: space

Could be redirected with lasers.

NASA needs “more hands on deck” due to one asteroid threat in particular, claimed scientist Professor Greg Leonard, who works for the US space agency.

Oct 13, 2019

NASA engineer invents physics-breaking new space engine

Posted by in categories: energy, physics, space

Star Trek’s Montgomery Scott famously said “ye cannot change the laws of physics”, but a real-life space engineer says he might have just done that.

David Burns of NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Alabama has unveiled what he’s calling the ‘helical engine’, which could potentially power flights across space without using any fuel at all.

There’s just one small problem — it breaks the laws of physics as we know them.

Oct 13, 2019

Marine cultivation technology opening the door to the rich sources of clean energy in our oceans

Posted by in category: energy

New technology plans to tackle the future energy crisis by capturing sunlight and turning it to bioenergy.

Oct 13, 2019

Economist who slated colleagues’ work is tipped for Nobel

Posted by in category: economics

Ariel Rubinstein, who says economics lacks common sense, heads list of likely winners.

Oct 13, 2019

Study finds method to diagnose Lyme disease within 15 minutes

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, engineering

Researchers have developed a new treatment method capable of detecting Lyme disease in just 15 minutes.

Caused by Borrelia burgdorferi and transmitted by the bite of infected Ixodes ticks, Lyme disease if left untreated can cause serious neurologic, cardiac, and/or rheumatologic complications.

“Our findings are the first to demonstrate that Lyme disease diagnosis can be carried out in a microfluidic format that can provide rapid quantitative results,” said Sam Sia, professor of biomedical engineering at Columbia Engineering.

Oct 13, 2019

Black holes might not crush you after all—they could be even weirder than that

Posted by in categories: cosmology, singularity

Just when you thought one of the most bizarre things in space was something that eats massive amounts of light and energy and would probably shred you with its gravitational forces, what if it was something even harder to imagine?

Black holes are supposed to have a singularity—a point that is so small and dense we can’t even fathom it—in the middle of all that swirling light and gas. But what if at least some cosmic phenomena that look like black holes are actually cosmic objects full of dark energy? That is what astrophysicists Kevin Croker and Joel Weiner of the University of Hawai’i at Manoa recently published in a study in The Astrophysical Journal that tries to prove these hypothetical Generic Objects of Dark Energy (GEODEs) exist.