23 Sep 2019

TechBits, Sep 23, 2019

1. Crucial achievement in Advancing Quantum Computers by Physicists

  • Physicists at Uppsala University have identified how to distinguish between true and ‘fake’ Majorana states in one of the most commonly used experimental setups, by means of supercurrent measurements. This theoretical study is a crucial step for advancing the field of topological superconductors and applications of Majorana states for robust quantum computers. New experiments testing this approach are expected next.
  • Majorana states exist as zero-energy states at the ends of topological superconductors (a special type of superconductors, materials that conduct with zero resistance when cooled close to absolute zero temperature), where low-energy states are robust against defects. Majorana states have exotic properties that make them promising candidates as qubits for fault-tolerant quantum computers. However, in experiments, trivial zero-energy states mimicking Majorana states can also appear. The difficulty in telling apart the true and these ‘fake’ Majoranas is a problem that has hampered the experimental progress in this field of research and has been a thorn in the side of experts.

2. The ‘Tunabot’ is the first Robotic Fish to keep pace with a Tuna

  • Mechanical engineers at the University of Virginia School of Engineering, leading a collaboration with biologists from Harvard University, have created the first robotic fish proven to mimic the speed and movements of live yellowfin tuna.
  • Their peer-reviewed paper, “Tuna robotics: a high-frequency experimental platform exploring the performance space of swimming fishes,” was published on September 18, 2019, in Science Robotics, an offshoot of Science magazine devoted to technological advancements in robotic science and engineering.

3. Innovative Process for ‘Extremely’ Energy-Efficient Logic Circuits

  • Data centers are processing data and dispensing the results at astonishing rates and such robust systems require a significant amount of energy — so much energy, in fact, that information communication technology is projected to account for 20% of total energy consumption in the United States by 2020.
  • To answer this demand, a team of researchers from Japan and the United States has developed a framework to reduce energy consumption while improving efficiency.

4. Powerful New Memory Compacting System Boosts Phone and Computer Performance

  • Applications like web browsers or smartphone apps often use a lot of memory. To address this, a research group co-led by Emery Berger, a professor of computer science at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, has developed a system they call Mesh that can automatically reduce such memory demands. Berger is presenting this work today at Cppcon, the C++ conference in Aurora, Colorado.
  • Berger and colleagues in the College of Information and Computer Science (CICS) expect Mesh to have a substantial impact on the computing world, from mobile applications to desktops to data centers, because no one has previously been able to compact memory in applications written in or running on tops of widely-used languages like C, C++, or Objective C, the language used for iOS apps.

5. Misdiagnosis, malpractice, unexpected costs, etc. can be minimized by Healthcare analytics

  • The current health system in India provides limited resources to patients. The result is that they remain disengaged, uninformed and frustrated, with long waiting times, fragmented care, and duplicate requests.
  • Well-informed patients, who are educated about their health condition, in comparison, have lower readmission rates, better outcomes, and lower out-of-pocket costs, says Rajesh Pachar, CTO, and Co-Founder of homegrown clinical intelligence firm THB.

6. Breakthrough in Quantum Computing with a new Detection Tool that Uncovers “Noise” that can kill Qubits

  • MIT and Dartmouth College researchers have demonstrated, for the first time, a tool that detects new characteristics of environmental “noise” that can destroy the fragile quantum state of qubits, the fundamental components of quantum computers. The advance may provide insights into microscopic noise mechanisms to help engineer new ways of protecting qubits.
  • Qubits can represent the two states corresponding to the classic binary bits, a 0 or 1. But, they can also maintain a “quantum superposition” of both states simultaneously, enabling quantum computers to solve complex problems that are practically impossible for classical computers.

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