A demo of a quantum calculation carried out by Japanese researchers has yielded some pretty mind-blowing results: a single molecule can perform a complex calculation thousands of times faster than a conventional computer.
A proof-of-principle test run of a discrete Fourier transform — a common calculation using spectral analysis and data compression, among other things — performed with a single iodine molecule transpired very well, putting all the molecules in your PC to shame.
“Now the theoretical foundations are almost in place that could one day allow quantum cash to become a reality.”
Since quantum money is just information, it can be stored and transmitted just like a digital picture or a text file. But because it has quantum properties too, it cannot be copied.
It is this combination that makes quantum cash so attractive: whoever is in possession of it has exclusive and unequivocal ownership of it, just as with hard, physical cash and unlike a credit card.
from h+ Magazine:
Unlike a conventional computer that works in a binary process of rapidly switching circuits on and off, a quantum computer uses subatomic phenomena to create logical circuits called qubits that are on and off at the same time.
Qubits can be a 1, a 0, or a quantum superposition of both. Put a pair of qubits together and they can be in a superposition of four states. With three qubits you can have eight states, and so on exponentially. D-Wave Systems intends to push the field further than ever before with the world’s first 128-qubit computer, running on superconducting circuits.
from MIT’s Technology Review:
Peratech makes an electrically conductive material called quantum tunneling composite (QTC). When the material is compressed electrons jump between two conductors separated by polymer insulating layer covered with metallic nanoparticles.
QTC robot skin could perhaps let a robot know precisely where it has been touched, and with how much pressure. It could also be helpful in designing machines that have better grasping capabilities, and for developing more natural ways for machines to interact with humans.
from h+ Magazine:
Marc Millis, former head of NASA’s Breakthrough Propulsion Physics Project, has designed ion thrusters, electronics for rocket monitoring, cryogenic propellant equipment, and even a cockpit display to guide free-fall aircraft flights.
His recent retirement after nearly 30 years with NASA has freed him to devote full time to his Tau Zero Foundation, “using the dream of reaching other worlds as both a long-range goal and a catalyst for near-term progress.”