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Limitless learning Universe
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D-Wave Systems Breaks the 1000 Qubit Quantum Computing Barrier #science #tech

D-Wave Systems Breaks the 1000 Qubit Quantum Computing Barrier #science #tech | Limitless learning Universe |

New Milestone Will Enable System to Address Larger and More Complex Problems


D-Wave Systems Inc., the world's first quantum computing company, today announced that it has broken the 1000 qubit barrier, developing a processor about double the size of D-Wave’s previous generation and far exceeding the number of qubits ever developed by D-Wave or any other quantum effort.


This is a major technological and scientific achievement that will allow significantly more complex computational problems to be solved than was possible on any previous quantum computer.


D-Wave’s quantum computer runs a quantum annealing algorithm to find the lowest points, corresponding to optimal or near optimal solutions, in a virtual “energy landscape.” Every additional qubit doubles the search space of the processor. At 1000 qubits, the new processor considers 21000possibilities simultaneously, a search space which dwarfs the 2512 possibilities available to the 512-qubit D-Wave Two. ‪In fact, the new search space contains far more possibilities than there are ‪particles in the observable universe.


“For the high-performance computing industry, the promise of quantum computing is very exciting. It offers the potential to solve important problems that either can’t be solved today or would take an unreasonable amount of time to solve,” said Earl Joseph, IDC program vice president for HPC. “D-Wave is at the forefront of this space today with customers like NASA and Google, and this latest advancement will contribute significantly to the evolution of the Quantum Computing industry.”


As the only manufacturer of scalable quantum processors, D-Wave breaks new ground with every succeeding generation it develops. The new processors, comprising over 128,000 Josephson tunnel junctions, are believed to be the most complex superconductor integrated circuits ever successfully yielded. They are fabricated in part at D-Wave’s facilities in Palo Alto, CA and at Cypress Semiconductor’s wafer foundry located in Bloomington, Minnesota.


“Temperature, noise, and precision all play a profound role in how well quantum processors solve problems.  Beyond scaling up the technology by doubling the number of qubits, we also achieved key technology advances prioritized around their impact on performance,” said Jeremy Hilton, D-Wave vice president, processor development. “We expect to release benchmarking data that demonstrate new levels of performance later this year.”


The 1000-qubit milestone is the result of intensive research and development by D-Wave and reflects a triumph over a variety of design challenges aimed at enhancing performance and boosting solution quality. Beyond the much larger number of qubits, other significant innovations include:


 Lower Operating Temperature: While the previous generation processor ran at a temperature close to absolute zero, the new processor runs 40% colder. The lower operating temperature enhances the importance of quantum effects, which increases the ability to discriminate the best result from a collection of good candidates.Reduced Noise: Through a combination of improved design, architectural enhancements and materials changes, noise levels have been reduced by 50% in comparison to the previous generation. The lower noise environment enhances problem-solving performance while boosting reliability and stability.Increased Control Circuitry Precision: In the testing to date, the increased precision coupled with the noise reduction has demonstrated improved precision by up to 40%. To accomplish both while also improving manufacturing yield is a significant achievement.Advanced Fabrication:  The new processors comprise over 128,000 Josephson junctions (tunnel junctions with superconducting electrodes) in a 6-metal layer planar process with 0.25μm features, believed to be the most complex superconductor integrated circuits ever built.New Modes of Use: The new technology expands the boundaries of ways to exploit quantum resources.  In addition to performing discrete optimization like its predecessor, firmware and software upgrades will make it easier to use the system for sampling applications.

Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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Mystery Alignment of Dying Stars Puzzles Scientists

Mystery Alignment of Dying Stars Puzzles Scientists | Limitless learning Universe |

Dying stars that are among the most beautiful objects in the universe line up across the night sky, and astronomers aren't sure why. These "cosmic butterflies" — actually a certain type of planetary nebula — all have their own formation histories, and they don't interact with each other. But something is apparently making them dance in step, scientists using NASA's Hubble Space Telescope and the European Southern Observatory's New Technology Telescope (NTT) have discovered.


"This really is a surprising find and, if it holds true, a very important one,"study lead author Bryan Rees, of the University of Manchester in the United Kingdom, said in a statement. "Many of these ghostly butterflies appear to have their long axes aligned along the plane of our galaxy. By using images from both Hubble and the NTT we could get a really good view of these objects, so we could study them in great detail."


In the final stages of their lives, stars like our own sun puff their outer layers into space, creating strange and striking objects known as planetary nebulas. (No planets are necessarily involved. The term was coined by famed astronomer Sir William Herschel to describe celestial bodies that appeared to have circular, planet-like shapes when viewed through early telescopes.)

Rees and co-author Albert Zijlstra, also of the University of Manchester, studied 130 planetary nebulae in the central bulge of the Milky Way galaxy.

They found most of these objects to be scattered more or less randomly across the sky, but one type — the bipolar nebulae, which have distinctive butterfly or hourglass shapes that are thought to result when jets blast material away from a dying star perpendicular to its orbit — showed a surprising alignment.


"The alignment we're seeing for these bipolar nebulae indicates something bizarre about star systems within the central bulge,"Rees said. "For them to line up in the way we see, the star systems that formed these nebulae would have to be rotating perpendicular to the interstellar clouds from which they formed, which is very strange."


Faraway bipolar nebulae display this predilection much more than nearby cosmic butterflies do, the researchers said. They suspect that the orderly behavior may have been caused by strong magnetic fields present when the galaxy's central bulge was forming.


But little is known about the characteristics of the Milky Way's magnetic fields in the distant past, so the planetary nebula alignment remains mysterious for now. "We can learn a lot from studying

 these objects,"Zijlstra said in a statemnt. "If they really behave in this unexpected way, it has consequences for not just the past of individual stars, but for the past of our whole galaxy."

Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
Chéri Vausé's curator insight, September 19, 2013 2:11 PM

My character Avi, in the Garden of Souls, is shown the origins of the universe. God has created a beautiful universe, filled with wonders. This is just a glimpse into it.

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Automated drug design using synthetic #DNA self-assembly #medicine #science

Automated drug design using synthetic #DNA self-assembly #medicine #science | Limitless learning Universe |

Using a simple "drag-and-drop" computer interface and DNA self-assembly techniques, researchers have developed a new approach for drug development that could drastically reduce the time required to create and test medications.


In work supported by a National Science Foundation (NSF) Small Business Innovation Research grant, researchers fromParabon® NanoLabs of Reston, Va., recently developed and began evaluating a drug for combating the lethal brain cancer glioblastoma multiforme.


Now, with the support of an NSF Technology Enhancement for Commercial Partnerships (TECP) grant, Parabon has partnered with Janssen Research & Development, LLC, part of the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson, to use the technology to create and test the efficacy of a new prostate cancer drug.


"We can now 'print,' molecule by molecule, exactly the compound that we want," says Steven Armentrout, the principal investigator on the NSF grants and co-developer of Parabon's technology. "What differentiates our nanotechnology from others is our ability to rapidly, and precisely, specify the placement of every atom in a compound that we design."


The new technology is called the Parabon Essemblix™ Drug Development Platform, and it combines their computer-aided design (CAD) software called inSēquio™ with nanoscale fabrication technology.


Scientists work within inSēquio™ to design molecular pieces with specific, functional components. The software then optimizes the design using the Parabon Computation Grid, a cloud supercomputing platform that uses proprietary algorithms to search for sets of DNA sequences that can self-assemble those components.


"When designing a therapeutic compound, we combine knowledge of the cell receptors we are targeting or biological pathways we are trying to affect with an understanding of the linking chemistry that defines what is possible to assemble," says Hong Zhong, senior research scientist at Parabon and a collaborator on the grants. "It's a deliberate and methodical engineering process, which is quite different from most other drug development approaches in use today."


With the resulting sequences, the scientists chemically synthesize trillions of identical copies of the designed molecules. The process, from conception to production, can be performed in weeks, or even days--much faster than traditional drug discovery techniques that rely on trial and error for screening potentially useful compounds.


In vivo experiments, funded by the NSF SBIR award, validated the approach, and Parabon filed a provisional patent for its methods and compounds on May 4, 2011. The final applicationwas published in 2012.

The process is characteristic of rational drug design, an effort to craft pharmaceuticals based on knowledge of how certain molecular pieces will work together in a biological system. For example, some molecules are good at finding cancer cells, while others are good at latching on to cancer cells, while still others are capable of killing cells. Working together as part of a larger molecule, these pieces could prove effective as a cancer treatment.


While there are other methods to create multi-component compounds, they generally take more time, and, most important, the majority of them lack the precise control over size, charge and the relative placement of components enabled by the new technology. The recent TECP grant provided a supplement to Parabon to support further research that will help the novel technologies meet market demands.

Via Ray and Terry's , Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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Chinese Search Company Baidu Built a Giant Artificial-Intelligence Supercomputer #tech #science

Chinese Search Company Baidu Built a Giant Artificial-Intelligence Supercomputer #tech #science | Limitless learning Universe |

Chinese search giant Baidu says it has invented a powerful supercomputer that brings new muscle to an artificial-intelligence technique giving software more power to understand speech, images, and written language.

The new computer, called Minwa and located in Beijing, has 72 powerful processors and 144 graphics processors, known as GPUs. Late Monday, Baidu released a paper claiming that the computer had been used to train machine-learning software that set a new record for recognizing images, beating a previous mark set by Google.

“Our company is now leading the race in computer intelligence,” said Ren Wu, a Baidu scientist working on the project, speaking at the Embedded Vision Summit on Tuesday. Minwa’s computational power would probably put it among the 300 most powerful computers in the world if it weren’t specialized for deep learning, said Wu. “I think this is the fastest supercomputer dedicated to deep learning,” he said. “We have great power in our hands—much greater than our competitors.”

Computing power matters in the world of deep learning, which has produced breakthroughs in speech, image, and face recognition and improved the image-search and speech-recognition services offered by Google and Baidu.

The technique is a souped-up version of an approach first established decades ago, in which data is processed by a network of artificial neurons that manage information in ways loosely inspired by biological brains. Deep learning involves using larger neural networks than before, arranged in hierarchical layers, and training them with significantly larger collections of data, such as photos, text documents, or recorded speech.

So far, bigger data sets and networks appear to always be better for this technology, said Wu. That’s one way it differs from previous machine-learning techniques, which had begun to produce diminishing returns with larger data sets. “Once you scaled your data beyond a certain point, you couldn’t see any improvement,” said Wu. “With deep learning, it just keeps going up.” Baidu says that Minwa makes it practical to create an artificial neural network with hundreds of billions of connections—hundreds of times more than any network built before.


A paper released Monday is intended to provide a taste of what Minwa’s extra oomph can do. It describes how the supercomputer was used to train a neural network that set a new record on a standard benchmark for image-recognition software. The ImageNet Classification Challenge, as it is called, involves training software on a collection of 1.5 million labeled images in 1,000 different categories, and then asking that software to use what it learned to label 100,000 images it has not seen before.

Software is compared on the basis of how often its top five guesses for a given image miss the correct answer. The system trained on Baidu’s new computer was wrong only 4.58 percent of the time. The previous best was 4.82 percent, reported by Google in March. One month before that, Microsoft had reported achieving 4.94 percent, becoming the first to better average human performance of 5.1 percent.

Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
LEONARDO WILD's curator insight, May 15, 2015 11:57 AM

Question: What IS intelligence?

I guess we're still mistaken about this elusive term so many use on a daily basis—either to degrade or upgrade your status as a human being–without really knowing what it is. Now we're going to have "stupid" 'puters vs. "intelligent" ones. Ah, yet the question remains: Psychopaths, those "snakes in suits" in high places, they are intelligent, aren't they? Yes, of course! Otherwise they wouldn't have been able to get where they are (high places). Empathy is clearly not part of the equation.

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World Within Worlds: Geeky Math Equation Creates Beautiful 3-D Worlds

World Within Worlds: Geeky Math Equation Creates Beautiful 3-D Worlds | Limitless learning Universe |

The quest by a group of math geeks to create a three-dimensional analogue for the mesmerizing Mandelbrot fractal has ended in success.


They call it the Mandelbulb. The 3-D renderings were generated by applying an iterative algorithm to a sphere. The same calculation is applied over and over to the sphere’s points in three dimensions. In spirit, that’s similar to how the original 2-D Mandelbrot set generates its infinite and self-repeating complexity.


The following images are worth a look. Each photo is a zoom on one of these Mandelbulbs.  Daniel White, the amateur fractal image maker who coordinated the Mandelbulb effort, admits this creation isn’t exactly the Mandelbrot in 3-D. It’s mesmerizing and beautiful, but as he notes, only some versions of their original formula generate the kind of detail and complexity they are looking for. Their original equation doesn’t work very well unless you take it beyond the 2nd power. The picture above, White says, doesn’t have the level of detail that should be there.


“That means the biggest secret is still under wraps, open to anyone who has the inclination, and appreciation for how cool this thing would look,” White wrote on his website.

Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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