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News

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Fri, 16 Mar 2018
ENERGY DEPT NEEDS R1 TRILLION FOR NUCLEAR PLANS

Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene confirmed that nuclear plans will remain on the table but will only be implemented at a pace the country can afford.

Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene says the Energy Department will need a budget of R1 trillion for its nuclear plans.

Nene confirmed that nuclear plans will remain on the table but will only be implemented at a pace the country can afford.

The Finance Minister gave his first public address in Tshwane on Monday at a Fedusa conference.

“Which means we must not move away from the existing plans and we’re sitting with the IPPs as we speak on renewable energy, some of them that are due to be signed quite soon, some of them that are already in operation and that have assisted us in alleviating our energy challenge.”

WATCH: Finance Minister Nene’s first public appearance

Source: http://ewn.co.za/2018/03/06/nene-energy-dept-needs-r1-trillion-for-nuclear-plans

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Fri, 16 Mar 2018
‘Quantum supremacy will soon be ours!’, says Google as it reveals 72-qu...

Don’t panic: ‘supremacy’ is the point at which quantum kit trumps classical computers

Google scientist Marissa Giustina installs a Bristlestone chip

Google reckons it’s on the cusp of demonstrating “quantum supremacy” with the development of a 72-qubit processor.

Quantum supremacy refers to the point at which a quantum computer should outperform a classical computer, without incurring the performance costs of error correction (as described in this 2016 paper).

Google demonstrated a nine-qubit design in 2014 (published in Nature in 2015), and Julian Kelly, a research scientist at the company’s Quantum AI Lab explained that the previous experiment hit one percent readout error rates, 0.1 percent errors for single qubit gates, and 0.6 percent errors for two-qubit gates.

The 72-qubit design, dubbed “Bristlecone”, aims to “preserve the underlying physics” of its predecessor, scaling up “the same scheme for coupling, control, and readout”.

Microsoft ports its Quantum Development Kit to Linux and macOS

The new device doesn’t quite achieve quantum supremacy; rather, it’s a testbed for research into error rates and scalability “as well as applications in quantum simulation, optimisation, and machine learning”.

However, the post hinted that the processor might be the platform that outperforms a classical computer: “We are cautiously optimistic that quantum supremacy can be achieved with Bristlecone”, Kelly wrote.

Another important characteristic of a 72-qubit machine, as illustrated in the image below, is that it’s still within reach of a classical computer simulation, which is currently the only way to validate both that the quantum computer is operating correctly (since you can cross-check the answers), and that it achieves a speed-up over classical computers.

Kelly’s post drew attention to the need to validate a quantum computer’s operation against a simulator, adding that Google’s developed a suitable benchmarking tool: ““We can assign a single system error by applying random quantum circuits to the device and checking the sampled output distribution against a classical simulation.”

Bristlestone would also, Kelly wrote, help Google’s boffins develop quantum algorithms on “actual hardware”.

 

Source: https://www.theregister.co.uk/2018/03/06/google_bristlecone_72_qubit_quantum_processsor/

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Tue, 13 Mar 2018
Bringing 4G to the moon

Nokia, Vodafone and other partners look to deploy 4G to support data transmissions from lunar rovers.

“That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind. Now come over here, Buzz. I want to get a selfie of this up on Insta; my ex-girlfriend’ll freak.” That’s not something astronaut Neil Armstrong ever said, but, if Nokia, Vodafone and partners work to realize the goal of establishing a 4G network on the moon, perhaps future generations of astronauts will be able to live tweet their lunar experiences.

The plan here is set up a 4G network on the moon that will use Nokia equipment to connect Audi lunar rovers with the network needed to transmit scientific data and HD video. The partners are eyeing the 1800 MHz band to transmit from the moon to a deep space link connected terrestrially to servers in Berlin run by PTScientists. In addition to the scientific functions, the plan to broadcast a live stream of the moon to viewers on earth. In terms of time frame, the goal is to launch the equipment on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket next year.

Nokia Bell Labs is creating what it calls a “space-grade ultra compact network” weighing about 1 kilogram. Company CTO and Bell Labs President Marcus Wheldon said the project has “potentially wide-ranging implications for many stakeholders and humanity as a whole, and we look forward to working closely with Vodafone and other partners in the coming months.”

PTScientists CEO Robert Böhme called the project “a crucial first step for sustainable exploration of the solar system. In order for humanity to leave the cradle of earth, we need to develop infrastructures beyond our home planet.”

Audi’s lunar rovers will be used to collect data on NASA’s Apollo 17 lunar vehicle last used to support exploration in the Taurus-Littrow valley in December 1972.

Source: https://www.rcrwireless.com/20180305/network-infrastructure/bringing-4g-to-the-moon-nokia-vodafone-tag17

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