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Quantum computing

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Fast Company

Fast Company reporter Mark Sullivan spotlights QuEra Computing as one of the 15 startups to watch in 2022. “Research breakthroughs by scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University led to the launch of QuEra Computing, which uses a unique quantum architecture and laser techniques to arrange and direct the tiny qubits or quantum bits, in its 256-qubit system,” writes Sullivan.

The Washington Post

MIT researchers are developing innovations aimed at improving Covid-19 diagnostics, including an atomic-level test designed to increase testing accuracy, reports Steven Zeitchik for The Washington Post. Professor James Collins and his team are developing “a mask that uses freeze-dried technology to detect the coronavirus.”

Science News

Scientists from MIT have observed a quantum effect that blocks ultracold atoms from scattering light, reports Emily Conover for Science News. To observe the effect, the researchers “beamed light through a cloud of lithium atoms, measuring the amount of light it scattered,” writes Conover. “Then, the team decreased the temperature to make the atoms fill up the lowest energy states, suppressing the scattering of light.”

New Scientist

A new study by MIT scientists has uncovered evidence of Pauli blocking, confirming that as atoms are chilled and squeezed to extremes their ability to scatter light is suppressed, reports Leah Crane for New Scientist. “This is a very basic phenomenon, but it’s sort of a devil to see,” explains former MIT postdoc Yair Margalit. “You need these extreme conditions to be able to see it – high densities and ultra-low temperatures – and it is difficult to get both of these at once.”


President L. Rafael Reif speaks with Sabri Ben-Achour of Marketplace about the importance of the Senate passing a new bill that invests in research and development. “We are in a science and technology race for the future,” says Reif. “It is with science and technology that we address things like Covid and the biggest challenges the world has; the health of our economy, our security. That is key to all of the above.”


Symmetry Magazine reporter Sarah Charley writes that a new study co-authored by MIT postdoc Xiaojun Yao examines how quantum computing could advance our understanding of quantum processes. Yao explored how “the properties of a heavy particle could be impacted after it traversed through a quark-gluon plasma,” and after several months of testing was able to “demonstrate that these kinds of calculations are already feasible on today’s quantum computers.”


Researchers from MIT Lincoln Laboratory have developed a new quantum chip with integrated photonics, a “vital step to advance the evolution of trapped-ion quantum computers and quantum sensors,” reports Paul Smith-Goodson for Forbes.


Forbes contributor Elizabeth Fernandez writes that a study co-authored by MIT researchers shows quantum entanglement could give blackjack players a slight edge. Fernandez adds that the research shows how, “entangled systems can show up in our macroscopic, everyday lives.”

Quanta Magazine

Writing for Quanta Magazine, David Freedman spotlights Prof. Pablo Jarillo-Herrero’s discovery that when twisted to a “magic” angle, graphene can act as a semiconductor. Freedman writes that the “discovery has given scientists a relatively simple platform for exploring exotic quantum effects.”


Prof. Pablo Jarillo-Herrero speaks with Gizmodo reporter Ryan Mandelbaum about his work showing that when twisted to the right angle, graphene can serve as an insulator or semiconductor. “This sort of field of ‘twistronics’ is something with great potential in terms of scientific discovery and intellectual interest,” Jarillo-Herrero explains.


Nature reporter Elizabeth Gibney spotlights Prof. Pablo Jarillo-Herrero’s discovery that graphene can act as a superconductor when twisted to a magic angle. “I haven’t seen this much excitement in the graphene field since its initial discovery,” said ChunNing Jeanie Lau, a professor at Ohio State University, of the impact of Jarillo-Herrero’s findings.

Physics World

Prof. Pablo Jarillo-Herrero’s discovery that when graphene is rotated to a “magic angle” it can act as a high-temperature superconductor has been named the Physics World 2018 Breakthrough of the Year. Physics World reporter Hamish Johnston writes that the “discovery led to the development of ‘twistronics’, which is a new and very promising technique for adjusting the electronic properties of graphene.”

The New Yorker

Writing for The New Yorker, Prof. David Kaiser contrasts a new study in Nature, which concludes that “if human will is free, there are physical events… that are intrinsically random, that is, impossible to predict,” with the 19th century writings of Stephen Freeman, who argued that, “human consciousness and our perception of free will must be subject to chains of causation.” The researchers, says Kaiser, “turned Freeman’s formulation on its head.”


Kagome metal, a new discovery made through research by Assistant Prof. Joseph Checkelsky and graduate student Linda Ye, allows for the transfer of electrical currents “across atomic layers in the crystal” without any energy loss. Aristos Georgiou for Newsweek writes that such material may enable quantum computers "to solve certain problems that even the most powerful classical computers struggle to calculate.”

BBC News

BBC News reports on the creation of Kagome metal, an “electrically conducting crystal, made from layers of iron and tin atoms,” that could be used in more powerful quantum computers. The shape of the conductor, developed by Assistant Professor Joseph Checkelsky and graduate student Linda Ye, mimics a popular pattern in Japanese basket-weaving.