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Devs: Alex Garland on Tech Company Cults, Quantum Computing, and Determinism – Den of Geek UK

Yet that difference between the common things a company can sell and the uncommon things they quietly develop is profoundly important. In Devs, the friendly exterior of Amaya with its enormous statue of a childa literal monument to Forests lost daughteris a public face to the actual profound work his Devs team is doing in a separate, highly secretive facility. Seemingly based in part on mysterious research and development wings of tech giantsthink Googles moonshot organizations at X Development and DeepMindDevs is using quantum computing to change the world, all while keeping Forests Zen ambition as its shield.

I think it helps, actually, Garland says about Forest not being a genius. Because I think what happens is that these [CEO] guys present as a kind of front between what the company is doing and the rest of the world, including the kind of inspection that the rest of the world might want on the company if they knew what the company was doing. So our belief and enthusiasm in the leader stops us from looking too hard at what the people behind-the-scenes are doing. And from my point of view thats quite common.

A lifelong man of words, Garland describes himself as a writer with a laymans interest in science. Yet its fair to say he studies almost obsessively whatever field of science hes writing about, which now pertains to quantum computing. A still largely unexplored frontier in the tech world, quantum computing is the use of technology to apply quantum-mechanical phenomena to data a traditional computer could never process. Its still so unknown that Google AI and NASA published a paper only six months ago in which they claimed to have achieved quantum supremacy (the creation of a quantum device that can actually solve problems a classical computer cannot).

Whereas binary computers work with gates that are either a one or a zero, a quantum qubit [a basic unit of measurement] can deal with a one and a zero concurrently, and all points in between, says Garland. So you get a staggering amount of exponential power as you start to run those qubits in tandem with each other. What the filmmaker is especially fascinated by is using a quantum system to model another quantum system. That is to say using a quantum computer with true supremacy to solve other theoretical problems in quantum physics. If we use a binary way of doing that, youre essentially using a filing system to model something that is emphatically not binary.

So in Devs, quantum computing is a gateway into a hell of a trippy concept: a quantum computer so powerful that it can analyze the theoretical data of everything that has or will occur. In essence, Forest and his team are creating a time machine that can project through a probabilistic system how events happened in the past, will happen in the future, and are happening right now. It thus acts as an omnipotent surveillance system far beyond any neocons dreams.

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Flux-induced topological superconductivity in full-shell nanowires – Science Magazine

INTRODUCTION

Majorana zero modes (MZMs) localized at the ends of one-dimensional topological superconductors are promising candidates for fault-tolerant quantum computing. One approach among the proposals to realize MZMsbased on semiconducting nanowires with strong spin-orbit coupling subject to a Zeeman field and superconducting proximity effecthas received considerable attention, yielding increasingly compelling experimental results over the past few years. An alternative route to MZMs aims to create vortices in topological superconductors, for instance, by coupling a vortex in a conventional superconductor to a topological insulator.

We intoduce a conceptually distinct approach to generating MZMs by threading magnetic flux through a superconducting shell fully surrounding a spin-orbitcoupled semiconducting nanowire core; this approach contains elements of both the proximitized-wire and vortex schemes. We show experimentally and theoretically that the winding of the superconducting phase around the shell induced by the applied flux gives rise to MZMs at the ends of the wire. The topological phase sets in at relatively low magnetic fields, is controlled by moving from zero to one phase twist around the superconducting shell, and does not require a large g factor in the semiconductor, which broadens the landscape of candidate materials.

In the destructive Little-Parks regime, the modulation of critical temperature with flux applied along the hybrid nanowire results in a sequence of lobes with reentrant superconductivity. Each lobe is associated with a quantized number of twists of the superconducting phase in the shell, determined by the external field. The result is a series of topologically locked boundary conditions for the proximity effect in the semiconducting core, with a dramatic effect on the subgap density of states.

Tunneling into the core in the zeroth superconducting lobe, around zero flux, we measure a hard proximity-induced gap with no subgap features. In the superconducting regions around one quantum of applied flux, 0 = h/2e, corresponding to phase twists of 2 in the shell, tunneling spectra into the core show stable zero-bias peaks, indicating a discrete subgap state fixed at zero energy.

Theoretically, we find that a Rashba field arising from the breaking of local radial inversion symmetry at the semiconductor-superconductor interface, along with 2-phase twists in the boundary condition, can induce a topological state supporting MZMs. We calculate the topological phase diagram of the system as a function of Rashba spin-orbit coupling, radius of the semiconducting core, and band bending at the superconductor-semiconductor interface. Our analysis shows that topological superconductivity extends in a reasonably large portion of the parameter space. Transport simulations of the tunneling conductance in the presence of MZMs qualitatively reproduce the experimental data in the entire voltage-bias range.

We obtain further experimental evidence that the zero-energy states are delocalized at wire ends by investigating Coulomb blockade conductance peaks in full-shell wire islands of various lengths. In the zeroth lobe, Coulomb blockade peaks show 2e spacing; in the first lobe, peak spacings are roughly 1e-periodic, with slight even-odd alternation that vanishes exponentially with island length, consistent with overlapping Majorana modes at the two ends of the Coulomb island. The exponential dependence on length, as well as incompatibility with a power-law dependence, provides compelling evidence that MZMs reside at the ends of the hybrid islands.

While being of similar simplicity and practical feasibility as the original nanowire proposals with a partial shell coverage, full-shell nanowires provide several key advantages. The modest magnetic field requirements, protection of the semiconducting core from surface defects, and locked phase winding in discrete lobes together suggest a relatively easy route to creating and controlling MZMs in hybrid materials. Our findings open the possibility of studying an interplay of mesoscopic and topological physics in this system.

(A) Colorized electron micrograph of a tunneling device composed of a hybrid nanowire with hexagonal semiconducting core and full superconducting shell. (B) Tunneling conductance (color) into the core as a function of applied flux (horizontal axis) and source-drain voltage (vertical axis) reveals a hard induced superconducting gap near zero applied flux and a gapped region with a discrete zero-energy state around one applied flux quantum, 0. (C) Realistic transport simulations in the presence of MZMs reproduce key features of the experimental data.

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Reaching the Singularity May be Humanity’s Greatest and Last Accomplishment – Air & Space Magazine

In a new paper published in The International Journal of Astrobiology, Joseph Gale from The Hebrew University of Jerusalem and co-authors make the point that recent advances in artificial intelligence (AI)particularly in pattern recognition and self-learningwill likely result in a paradigm shift in the search for extraterrestrial intelligent life.

While futurist Ray Kurzweil predicted 15 years ago that the singularitythe time when the abilities of a computer overtake the abilities of the human brainwill occur in about 2045, Gale and his co-authors believe this event may be much more imminent, especially with the advent of quantum computing. Its already been four years since the program AlphaGO, fortified with neural networks and learning modes, defeated Lee Sedol, the Go world champion. The strategy game StarCraft II may be the next to have a machine as reigning champion.

If we look at the calculating capacity of computers and compare it to the number of neurons in the human brain, the singularity could be reached as soon as the early 2020s. However, a human brain is wired differently than a computer, and that may be the reason why certain tasks that are simple for us are still quite challenging for todays AI. Also, the size of the brain or the number of neurons dont equate to intelligence. For example, whales and elephants have more than double the number of neurons in their brain, but are not more intelligent than humans.

The authors dont know when the singularity will come, but come it will. When this occurs, the end of the human race might very well be upon us, they say, citing a 2014 prediction by the late Stephen Hawking. According to Kurzweil, humans may then be fully replaced by AI, or by some hybrid of humans and machines.

What will this mean for astrobiology? Not much, if were searching only for microbial extraterrestrial life. But it might have a drastic impact on the search for extraterrestrial intelligent life (SETI). If other civilizations are similar to ours but older, we would expect that they already moved beyond the singularity. So they wouldnt necessarily be located on a planet in the so-called habitable zone. As the authors point out, such civilizations might prefer locations with little electronic noise in a dry and cold environment, perhaps in space, where they could use superconductivity for computing and quantum entanglement as a means of communication.

We are just beginning to understand quantum entanglement, and it is not yet clear whether it can be used to transfer information. If it can, however, that might explain the apparent lack of evidence for extraterrestrial intelligent civilizations. Why would they use primitive radio waves to send messages?

I think it also is still unclear whether there is something special enough about the human brains ability to process information that casts doubt on whether AI can surpass our abilities in all relevant areas, especially in achieving consciousness. Might there be something unique to biological brains after millions and millions of years of evolution that computers cannot achieve? If not, the authors are correct that reaching the singularity could be humanitys greatest and last advance.

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Quantum Computing Market 2020 | Growing Rapidly with Significant CAGR, Leading Players, Innovative Trends and Expected Revenue by 2026 – Skyline…

New Jersey, United States:The Quantum Computing Market is carefully researched in the report while largely concentrating on top players and their business tactics, geographical expansion, market segments, competitive landscape, manufacturing, and pricing and cost structures. Each section of the research study is specially prepared to explore key aspects of the Quantum Computing market. For instance, the market dynamics section digs deep into the drivers, restraints, trends, and opportunities of the Quantum Computing Market. With qualitative and quantitative analysis, we help you with thorough and comprehensive research on the Quantum Computing market. We have also focused on SWOT, PESTLE, and Porters Five Forces analyses of the Quantum Computing market.

Global Quantum Computing Market was valued at USD 89.35 million in 2016 and is projected to reach USD 948.82 million by 2025, growing at a CAGR of 30.02% from 2017 to 2025.

Leading players of the Quantum Computing market are analyzed taking into account their market share, recent developments, new product launches, partnerships, mergers or acquisitions, and markets served. We also provide an exhaustive analysis of their product portfolios to explore the products and applications they concentrate on when operating in the Quantum Computing market. Furthermore, the report offers two separate market forecasts one for the production side and another for the consumption side of the Quantum Computing market. It also provides useful recommendations for new as well as established players of the Quantum Computing market.

Quantum Computing Market by Regional Segments:

The chapter on regional segmentation describes the regional aspects of the Quantum Computing market. This chapter explains the regulatory framework that is expected to affect the entire market. It illuminates the political scenario of the market and anticipates its impact on the market for Quantum Computing.

Analysts who have authored the report have segmented the market for Quantum Computing by product, application and region. All segments are the subject of extensive research, with a focus on CAGR, market size, growth potential, market share and other important factors. The segment study provided in the report will help players focus on the lucrative areas of the Quantum Computing market. The regional analysis will help the actors to strengthen their position in the most important regional markets. It shows unused growth opportunities in regional markets and how they can be used in the forecast period.

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Highlights of TOC:

Overview: In addition to an overview of the Quantum Computing market, this section provides an overview of the report to give an idea of the type and content of the study.

Market dynamics: Here the authors of the report discussed in detail the main drivers, restrictions, challenges, trends and opportunities in the market for Quantum Computing.

Product Segments: This part of the report shows the growth of the market for various types of products sold by the largest companies.

Application segments: The analysts who have authored the report have thoroughly evaluated the market potential of the key applications and identified the future opportunities they should create in the Quantum Computing.

Geographic Segments: Each regional market is carefully examined to understand its current and future growth scenarios.

Company Profiles: The top players in the Quantum Computing market are detailed in the report based on their market share, served market, products, applications, regional growth and other factors.

The report also includes specific sections on production and consumption analysis, key results, key suggestions and recommendations, and other issues. Overall, it offers a complete analysis and research study of the Quantum Computing market to help players ensure strong growth in the coming years.

Complete Report is Available @ https://www.verifiedmarketresearch.com/product/Quantum-Computing-Market/?utm_source=SGN&utm_medium=003

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Verified market research partners with the customer and offer an insight into strategic and growth analyzes; Data necessary to achieve corporate goals and objectives. Our core values are trust, integrity and authenticity for our customers.

Analysts with a high level of expertise in data collection and governance use industrial techniques to collect and analyze data in all phases. Our analysts are trained to combine modern data collection techniques, superior research methodology, expertise and years of collective experience to produce informative and accurate research reports.

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Quantum Computing Market 2020 | Growing Rapidly with Significant CAGR, Leading Players, Innovative Trends and Expected Revenue by 2026 - Skyline...

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What Is Quantum Computing? The Complete WIRED Guide

First, accepted explanations of the subatomic world turned out to be incomplete. Electrons and other particles didnt just neatly carom around like Newtonian billiard balls, for example. Sometimes they acted like waves instead. Quantum mechanics emerged to explain such quirks, but introduced troubling questions of its own. To take just one brow-wrinkling example, this new math implied that physical properties of the subatomic world, like the position of an electron, didnt really exist until they were observed.

Quantum Leaps

1980

Physicist Paul Benioff suggests quantum mechanics could be used for computation.

1981

Nobel-winning physicist Richard Feynman, at Caltech, coins the term quantum computer.

1985

Physicist David Deutsch, at Oxford, maps out how a quantum computer would operate, a blueprint that underpins the nascent industry of today.

1994

Mathematician Peter Shor, at Bell Labs, writes an algorithm that could tap a quantum computers power to break widely used forms of encryption.

2007

D-Wave, a Canadian startup, announces a quantum computing chip it says can solve Sudoku puzzles, triggering years of debate over whether the companys technology really works.

2013

Google teams up with NASA to fund a lab to try out D-Waves hardware.

2014

Google hires the professor behind some of the best quantum computer hardware yet to lead its new quantum hardware lab.

2016

IBM puts some of its prototype quantum processors on the internet for anyone to experiment with, saying programmers need to get ready to write quantum code.

2017

Startup Rigetti opens its own quantum computer fabrication facility to build prototype hardware and compete with Google and IBM.

If you find that baffling, youre in good company. A year before winning a Nobel for his contributions to quantum theory, Caltechs Richard Feynman remarked that nobody understands quantum mechanics. The way we experience the world just isnt compatible. But some people grasped it well enough to redefine our understanding of the universe. And in the 1980s a few of themincluding Feynmanbegan to wonder if quantum phenomena like subatomic particles' dont look and I dont exist trick could be used to process information. The basic theory or blueprint for quantum computers that took shape in the 80s and 90s still guides Google and others working on the technology.

Before we belly flop into the murky shallows of quantum computing 0.101, we should refresh our understanding of regular old computers. As you know, smartwatches, iPhones, and the worlds fastest supercomputer all basically do the same thing: they perform calculations by encoding information as digital bits, aka 0s and 1s. A computer might flip the voltage in a circuit on and off to represent 1s and 0s for example.

Quantum computers do calculations using bits, too. After all, we want them to plug into our existing data and computers. But quantum bits, or qubits, have unique and powerful properties that allow a group of them to do much more than an equivalent number of conventional bits.

Qubits can be built in various ways, but they all represent digital 0s and 1s using the quantum properties of something that can be controlled electronically. Popular examplesat least among a very select slice of humanityinclude superconducting circuits, or individual atoms levitated inside electromagnetic fields. The magic power of quantum computing is that this arrangement lets qubits do more than just flip between 0 and 1. Treat them right and they can flip into a mysterious extra mode called a superposition.

You may have heard that a qubit in superposition is both 0 and 1 at the same time. Thats not quite true and also not quite falsetheres just no equivalent in Homo sapiens humdrum classical reality. If you have a yearning to truly grok it, you must make a mathematical odyssey WIRED cannot equip you for. But in the simplified and dare we say perfect world of this explainer, the important thing to know is that the math of a superposition describes the probability of discovering either a 0 or 1 when a qubit is read outan operation that crashes it out of a quantum superposition into classical reality. A quantum computer can use a collection of qubits in superpositions to play with different possible paths through a calculation. If done correctly, the pointers to incorrect paths cancel out, leaving the correct answer when the qubits are read out as 0s and 1s.

Jargon for the Quantum Qurious

What's a qubit?

A device that uses quantum mechanical effects to represent 0s and 1s of digital data, similar to the bits in a conventional computer.

What's a superposition?

It's the trick that makes quantum computers tick, and makes qubits more powerful than ordinary bits. A superposition is in an intuition-defying mathematical combination of both 0 and 1. Quantum algorithms can use a group of qubits in a superposition to shortcut through calculations.

What's quantum entanglement?

A quantum effect so unintuitive that Einstein dubbed it spooky action at a distance. When two qubits in a superposition are entangled, certain operations on one have instant effects on the other, a process that helps quantum algorithms be more powerful than conventional ones.

What's quantum speedup?

The holy grail of quantum computinga measure of how much faster a quantum computer could crack a problem than a conventional computer could. Quantum computers arent well-suited to all kinds of problems, but for some they offer an exponential speedup, meaning their advantage over a conventional computer grows explosively with the size of the input problem.

For some problems that are very time consuming for conventional computers, this allows a quantum computer to find a solution in far fewer steps than a conventional computer would need. Grovers algorithm, a famous quantum search algorithm, could find you in a phone book with 100 million names with just 10,000 operations. If a classical search algorithm just spooled through all the listings to find you, it would require 50 million operations, on average. For Grovers and some other quantum algorithms, the bigger the initial problemor phonebookthe further behind a conventional computer is left in the digital dust.

The reason we dont have useful quantum computers today is that qubits are extremely finicky. The quantum effects they must control are very delicate, and stray heat or noise can flip 0s and 1s, or wipe out a crucial superposition. Qubits have to be carefully shielded, and operated at very cold temperatures, sometimes only fractions of a degree above absolute zero. Most plans for quantum computing depend on using a sizable chunk of a quantum processors power to correct its own errors, caused by misfiring qubits.

Recent excitement about quantum computing stems from progress in making qubits less flaky. Thats giving researchers the confidence to start bundling the devices into larger groups. Startup Rigetti Computing recently announced it has built a processor with 128 qubits made with aluminum circuits that are super-cooled to make them superconducting. Google and IBM have announced their own chips with 72 and 50 qubits, respectively. Thats still far fewer than would be needed to do useful work with a quantum computerit would probably require at least thousandsbut as recently as 2016 those companies best chips had qubits only in the single digits. After tantalizing computer scientists for 30 years, practical quantum computing may not exactly be close, but it has begun to feel a lot closer.

What the Future Holds for Quantum Computing

Some large companies and governments have started treating quantum computing research like a raceperhaps fittingly its one where both the distance to the finish line and the prize for getting there are unknown.

Google, IBM, Intel, and Microsoft have all expanded their teams working on the technology, with a growing swarm of startups such as Rigetti in hot pursuit. China and the European Union have each launched new programs measured in the billions of dollars to stimulate quantum R&D. And in the US, the Trump White House has created a new committee to coordinate government work on quantum information science. Several bills were introduced to Congress in 2018 proposing new funding for quantum research, totalling upwards of $1.3 billion. Its not quite clear what the first killer apps of quantum computing will be, or when they will appear. But theres a sense that whoever is first make these machines useful will gain big economic and national security advantages.

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Organisms grow in wave pattern, similar to ocean circulation – Big Think

When an egg cell of almost any sexually reproducing species is fertilized, it sets off a series of waves that ripple across the egg's surface.

These waves are produced by billions of activated proteins that surge through the egg's membrane like streams of tiny burrowing sentinels, signaling the egg to start dividing, folding, and dividing again, to form the first cellular seeds of an organism.

Now MIT scientists have taken a detailed look at the pattern of these waves, produced on the surface of starfish eggs. These eggs are large and therefore easy to observe, and scientists consider starfish eggs to be representative of the eggs of many other animal species.

In each egg, the team introduced a protein to mimic the onset of fertilization, and recorded the pattern of waves that rippled across their surfaces in response. They observed that each wave emerged in a spiral pattern, and that multiple spirals whirled across an egg's surface at a time. Some spirals spontaneously appeared and swirled away in opposite directions, while others collided head-on and immediately disappeared.

The behavior of these swirling waves, the researchers realized, is similar to the waves generated in other, seemingly unrelated systems, such as the vortices in quantum fluids, the circulations in the atmosphere and oceans, and the electrical signals that propagate through the heart and brain.

"Not much was known about the dynamics of these surface waves in eggs, and after we started analyzing and modeling these waves, we found these same patterns show up in all these other systems," says physicist Nikta Fakhri, the Thomas D. and Virginia W. Cabot Assistant Professor at MIT. "It's a manifestation of this very universal wave pattern."

"It opens a completely new perspective," adds Jrn Dunkel, associate professor of mathematics at MIT. "You can borrow a lot of techniques people have developed to study similar patterns in other systems, to learn something about biology."

Fakhri and Dunkel have published their results today in the journal Nature Physics. Their co-authors are Tzer Han Tan, Jinghui Liu, Pearson Miller, and Melis Tekant of MIT.

Previous studies have shown that the fertilization of an egg immediately activates Rho-GTP, a protein within the egg which normally floats around in the cell's cytoplasm in an inactive state. Once activated, billions of the protein rise up out of the cytoplasm's morass to attach to the egg's membrane, snaking along the wall in waves.

"Imagine if you have a very dirty aquarium, and once a fish swims close to the glass, you can see it," Dunkel explains. "In a similar way, the proteins are somewhere inside the cell, and when they become activated, they attach to the membrane, and you start to see them move."

Fakhri says the waves of proteins moving across the egg's membrane serve, in part, to organize cell division around the cell's core.

"The egg is a huge cell, and these proteins have to work together to find its center, so that the cell knows where to divide and fold, many times over, to form an organism," Fakhri says. "Without these proteins making waves, there would be no cell division."

MIT researchers observe ripples across a newly fertilized egg that are similar to other systems, from ocean and atmospheric circulations to quantum fluids. Courtesy of the researchers.

In their study, the team focused on the active form of Rho-GTP and the pattern of waves produced on an egg's surface when they altered the protein's concentration.

For their experiments, they obtained about 10 eggs from the ovaries of starfish through a minimally invasive surgical procedure. They introduced a hormone to stimulate maturation, and also injected fluorescent markers to attach to any active forms of Rho-GTP that rose up in response. They then observed each egg through a confocal microscope and watched as billions of the proteins activated and rippled across the egg's surface in response to varying concentrations of the artificial hormonal protein.

"In this way, we created a kaleidoscope of different patterns and looked at their resulting dynamics," Fakhri says.

The researchers first assembled black-and-white videos of each egg, showing the bright waves that traveled over its surface. The brighter a region in a wave, the higher the concentration of Rho-GTP in that particular region. For each video, they compared the brightness, or concentration of protein from pixel to pixel, and used these comparisons to generate an animation of the same wave patterns.

From their videos, the team observed that waves seemed to oscillate outward as tiny, hurricane-like spirals. The researchers traced the origin of each wave to the core of each spiral, which they refer to as a "topological defect." Out of curiosity, they tracked the movement of these defects themselves. They did some statistical analysis to determine how fast certain defects moved across an egg's surface, and how often, and in what configurations the spirals popped up, collided, and disappeared.

In a surprising twist, they found that their statistical results, and the behavior of waves in an egg's surface, were the same as the behavior of waves in other larger and seemingly unrelated systems.

"When you look at the statistics of these defects, it's essentially the same as vortices in a fluid, or waves in the brain, or systems on a larger scale," Dunkel says. "It's the same universal phenomenon, just scaled down to the level of a cell."

The researchers are particularly interested in the waves' similarity to ideas in quantum computing. Just as the pattern of waves in an egg convey specific signals, in this case of cell division, quantum computing is a field that aims to manipulate atoms in a fluid, in precise patterns, in order to translate information and perform calculations.

"Perhaps now we can borrow ideas from quantum fluids, to build minicomputers from biological cells," Fakhri says. "We expect some differences, but we will try to explore [biological signaling waves] further as a tool for computation."

This research was supported, in part, by the James S. McDonnell Foundation, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, and the National Science Foundation.

Reprinted with permission of MIT News. Read the original article.

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