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Jun 26, 2020

SpaceX delays launch of Starlink and BlackSky satellites for more rocket checks

Posted by in categories: internet, satellites

SpaceX called off the launch of its latest Starlink satellite mission Friday (June 26) to allow more time for preflight checks.

Jun 26, 2020

Quantum computers could arrive sooner if we build them with traditional silicon technology

Posted by in categories: chemistry, nanotechnology, quantum physics, robotics/AI

Quantum computers have the potential to revolutionise the way we solve hard computing problems, from creating advanced artificial intelligence to simulating chemical reactions in order to create the next generation of materials or drugs. But actually building such machines is very difficult because they involve exotic components and have to be kept in highly controlled environments. And the ones we have so far can’t outperform traditional machines as yet.

But with a team of researchers from the UK and France, we have demonstrated that it may well be possible to build a quantum computer from conventional silicon-based electronic components. This could pave the way for large-scale manufacturing of quantum computers much sooner than might otherwise be possible.

Continue reading “Quantum computers could arrive sooner if we build them with traditional silicon technology” »

Jun 26, 2020

Waymo and Volvo team up for all-electric robotaxis and Level-4 Polestar EVs

Posted by in categories: robotics/AI, sustainability, transportation

The nascent autonomous-vehicle industry is being reshaped by consolidation. Amazon, which committed to buying 100,000 Rivian electric vehicles, announced today that it is buying Zoox, the self-driving car tech start-up, for $1 billion. Ford and Volkswagen made multi-billion dollar investments in Argo. General Motors purchased Cruise Automation in 2016, while Hyundai is working with tier-one supplier Aptiv to deploy a robotaxi service in multiple global markets.

The tie-up between Waymo and Volvo (with its three brands all aggressive pursuing electric vehicles) could reshape the competitive landscape, although it’s too early to tell.

Google started its self-driving program more than a decade ago but paused the development of its own vehicle in 2016. A tight partnership between Waymo and Volvo to develop ground-up cars, if that’s what materializes, could put those plans back on track – this time with an established auto manufacturer known for high-quality production and safety.

Jun 26, 2020

Lasers Could Make Computers 1 Million Times Faster

Posted by in categories: computing, quantum physics

Pulses of light from infrared lasers can speed up computer operations by a factor of 1 million, and may have opened the door to room-temperature quantum computing.

Jun 26, 2020

Stanford’s quantum entanglement device brings us one step closer to quantum cryptography

Posted by in categories: encryption, internet, quantum physics

A new study makes quantum encryption much more practical, and brings us closer to the dream of a latency-free internet.

Jun 26, 2020

After 50 Years, Experiment Finally Shows Energy Could Be Extracted From a Black Hole

Posted by in categories: cosmology, physics

A 50-year-old theoretical process for extracting energy from a rotating black hole finally has experimental verification.

Using an analogue of the components required, physicists have shown that the Penrose process is indeed a plausible mechanism to slurp out some of that rotational energy — if we could ever develop the means.

That’s not likely, but the work does show that peculiar theoretical ideas can be brilliantly used to explore the physical properties of some of the most extreme objects in the Universe.

Jun 26, 2020

‘Where are my keys?’ and other memory-based choices probed in the brain

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, neuroscience

Summary: Study identifies a different set of individual neurons in the medial frontal cortex that is responsible for memory-based decision making. The findings have implications for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease, schizophrenia, and other disorders associated with problems in cognitive flexibility.

Source: CalTech

Continue reading “‘Where are my keys?’ and other memory-based choices probed in the brain” »

Jun 26, 2020

NASA Extends Deep Space Atomic Clock Mission

Posted by in categories: mobile phones, robotics/AI, satellites

Smart phone apps provide nearly instantaneous navigation on Earth; the Deep Space Atomic Clock could do the same for future robotic and human explorers.

As the time when NASA will begin sending humans back to the Moon draws closer, crewed trips to Mars are an enticing next step. But future space explorers will need new tools when traveling to such distant destinations. The Deep Space Atomic Clock mission is testing a new navigation technology that could be used by both human and robotic explorers making their way around the Red Planet and other deep space destinations.

In less than a year of operations, the mission has passed its primary goal to become one of the most stable clocks to ever fly in space; it is now at least 10 times more stable than atomic clocks flown on GPS satellites. In order to keep testing the system, NASA has extended the mission through August 2021. The team will use the additional mission time to continue to improve the clock’s stability, with a goal of becoming 50 times more stable than GPS atomic clocks.

Jun 26, 2020

Crews create a blast to take the Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment to the next stage

Posted by in categories: particle physics, space

It started with a blast.

On June 23, construction company Kiewit Alberici Joint Venture set off explosives 3,650 feet beneath the surface in Lead, South Dakota, to begin creating space for the international Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment, hosted by the Department of Energy’s Fermilab.

The blast is the start of underground activity for the experiment, known as DUNE, and the infrastructure that powers and houses it, called the Long-Baseline Neutrino Facility, or LBNF.

Jun 26, 2020

CERN experiment makes first observation of rare events producing three massive force carriers

Posted by in categories: cosmology, particle physics

Modern physics knows a great deal about how the universe works, from the grand scale of galaxies down to the infinitesimally small size of quarks and gluons. Still, the answers to some major mysteries, such as the nature of dark matter and origin of gravity, have remained out of reach.

Caltech physicists and their colleagues using the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) in Geneva, Switzerland, the largest and most powerful particle accelerator in existence, and its Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS) experiment have made a new observation of very that could help take physics beyond its current understanding of the world.

The new observation involves the simultaneous production of three W or Z bosons, subatomic “mediator particles” that carry the weak force—one of the four known —which is responsible for the phenomenon of radioactivity as well as an essential ingredient in the sun’s thermonuclear processes.