Top 10 Science and Technology Inventions for the Week of May 17, 2019

01. New method developed to detect and trace homemade bombs 02. Underwater power generation 03. Virtually energy-free superfast computing invented by scientists using light pulses 04. Locating a shooter from the first shot via cellphone 05. Silicon two-qubit gate achieves 98% fidelity 06. Lab builds autopilot software allowing UAVs to soar on thermals 07. A new sensor for light, heat and touch 08. Computing faster with quasi-particles 09. A step towards probabilistic computing (w/video) 10. Better microring sensors for optical applications And others… Assessing battery performance: Compared to what?This Chilling Simulation Shows What a Measles Outbreak Could Do to Your […]

Silicon two-qubit gate achieves 98% fidelity

Physics World  May 13, 2019 Two-qubit gates are essential for creating practical quantum computers. An important parameter is how resistant a qubit is to decoherence which can very quickly destroy quantum information. While the fidelity does not have to be a perfect 100%, anything lower will eventually lead to errors creeping into calculations after multiple operations are performed. An international team of researchers (Australia, UK, Japan) has created a two-qubit gate from two silicon quantum dots and using Clifford-based fidelity benchmarking system they demonstrated that it can achieve a fidelity of 98% when performing the controlled-rotation operation. More than 50 […]

Virtually energy-free superfast computing invented by scientists using light pulses

Science Daily  May 15, 2019 An international team of researchers (Germany, USA- UC Santa Barbara, Russia, the Netherlands) utilized the efficient interaction mechanism of coupling between spins and terahertz electric field, which was discovered by the same team. They developed and fabricated a very small antenna on top of the magnet to concentrate and thereby enhance the electric field of light. This strongest local electric field was sufficient to navigate the magnetization of the magnet to its new orientation in just one trillionth of a second without increasing the temperature. Future storage devices would also exploit the excellent spatial definition […]

Underwater power generation

Science Daily  May 13, 2019 Inspired by marine organisms that have switchable energy extraction modes (aerobic respiration for long‐term living or anaerobic respiration to propose instantaneously high output power for fast movement),researchers in China have designed an auto‐switchable dual‐mode seawater energy extraction system to provide high energy density and power density both by initiatively choosing different solutes in seawater as electron acceptors. The key to the discovery is a cathode made of Prussian blue, an open framework structure with cyanide ions as “struts” and iron ions as “nodes,” which can easily accept and release electrons. When combined with a metal […]

A step towards probabilistic computing (w/video)

Eurekalert  May 14, 2019 In the search for new computer concepts, research is concentrating, amongst others, on probability-based computing. Researchers in Germany have succeeded in developing a material in which skyrmions can form. The researchers have also developed a method to exploit thermal diffusion of skyrmions in what is referred to as a reshuffler, a component of probability-based computing that automatically scrambles input data. The reshuffler produces a sequence with the same number of memory units but in a different order. Their probability has therefore remained the same. They have shown according to which laws diffusion occurs, its length and […]

A new sensor for light, heat and touch

Phys.org  May 14, 2019 Voltage arises in pyroelectric materials when they are heated or cooled. It is the change in temperature that gives a signal, which is rapid and strong, but it decays almost as rapidly. In thermoelectric materials, in contrast, a voltage arises when the material has one cold and one hot side. The signal here arises slowly, and some time must pass before it can be measured. Researchers in Sweden combined a pyroelectric polymer with a thermoelectric gel developed by them in a previous project. The combination gives a rapid and strong signal that lasts as long as […]

New method developed to detect and trace homemade bombs

Science Daily  May 10, 2019 The new method for detecting trace amounts of explosives developed by researchers in the UK uses ion chromatography. The method is less time consuming. The technique can tell us so much more than just the explosives content. They have demonstrated that the technique detects thousands of different compounds simultaneously, which means there is an element of in-built future-proofing capability to detect new types of explosives if needed or provide critical information about where a device came from or who it belongs to. In particular, linearity for 19 targeted compounds yielded R2 > 0.99 across several orders of […]

Locating a shooter from the first shot via cellphone

Phys.org   May 13, 2019 Tactical Communication and Protective Systems (TCAPS), earmuffs or earplugs with built-in microphones allowing active hearing protection, have four microphones: two outside the ear canal and two inside it, underneath the hearing protection. Researchers in France have developed a proof of concept shooter location device because most modern combat weapons fire bullets at supersonic speeds, creating two acoustic wave – supersonic shock wave and the second one is a muzzle wave. The device uses the microphone underneath the hearing protection to detect the shock and muzzle waves generated by supersonic shots and record the time difference of […]

Lab builds autopilot software allowing UAVs to soar on thermals

Phys.org  May 10, 209 Prior systems relied on batch estimation processes that require storing large arrays of data, which is not ideal for operation on small microcontrollers with limited memory resources. Researchers at Naval Research Laboratory working on the Autonomous Locator of Thermals (ALOFT) project have developed software that uses extended Kalman filtering software which detects and estimates the position of thermals helping orbit drones like the tiny CICADA glider or long-endurance solar-soaring UAVs that might also have photovoltaic or fuel cells feeding battery-powered propellers. UAVs don’t need large batteries because they harvest energy from the environment using intelligent software […]

It’s Official: Atmospheric CO2 Just Exceeded 415 Ppm For The First Time in Human History

Science Alert  May 13, 2019 Researchers at UCSD’s Scripps Institution of Oceanography sensors in Hawaii recorded Earth’s atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide passing 415 parts per million for the first time since before the ancient dawn of humanity. As recently as 1910, atmospheric CO2 stood at 300 ppm – higher than it had been for some 800,000 years at least. It’s that ongoing fossil fuel use that’s the real problem here. According to the scientists we basically have no idea how bad things could get if we don’t stop adding to the problem at such an accelerated rate. There is […]