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Gizmorama - September 27, 2017

Good Morning,

A new computer chip stores data with the use of sound waves. Save with sound or Sound saves, those could be the taglines for the new chip. Patent pending!

Learn about this and more interesting stories from the scientific community in today's issue.

Until Next Time,

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* New quantum computer chip uses sounds waves to store data *

Scientists have designed a new quantum computer chip that uses sound waves to store and convert quantum data.

The device uses a bulk acoustic wave resonator to store, move and translate quantum information embedded in qubits, or quantum bits. The new, simple and more efficient method for quantum data storage could accelerate quantum computing technology.

The qubit is a two-state quantum-mechanical system, or system with two possible states -- a particle that can exist simultaneously in two different forms. The phenomenon is called qauntum superposition.

When one quantum state is manipulated, the manipulation can be measured in the other quantum state, enabling the teleportation of information.

The new device uses qubits made from superconducting aluminum and a sapphire wafer resonator, which features two sound wave-reflecting mirrors.

"We found that even a single quantum particle of sound, or a phonon, can live for a very long time when it bounces back and forth between these mirrors," Yiwen Chu, a postdoctoral associate at Yale University, said in a news release. "It can also be coupled to a superconducting qubit made on the surface of the sapphire using a disk of aluminum nitride, which converts acoustic energy into electromagnetic energy and vice versa."

By bouncing quantum states back and forth between the qubit and the mechanical resonator, researchers can more easily manipulate and measure quantum information.

"Mechanical resonators can be used to store quantum information generated by superconducting qubits in a more compact and robust way," Chu said. "They can also be used to interface superconducting circuits to other types of quantum objects, such as visible or infrared light. It would potentially allow us to create quantum information in our circuits and then transmit it over long distances using light."

Researchers described their quantum version of an integrated circuit in a new paper, published this week in the journal Science.

*-- World's first 'molecular robot' can build molecules --*

Scientists have constructed a robot capable of building molecules -- the world's first "molecular robot." The nanoscale robots can use a tiny robotic arm to move and build molecules.

The molecular robot works by triggering chemical reactions in specially designed solutions. Eventually, the robot could carry out medical missions or work on chemical assembly lines.

"Our robot is literally a molecular robot constructed of atoms just like you can build a very simple robot out of Lego bricks," David Leigh, a professor of chemistry at the University of Manchester in England, said in a news release. "The robot then responds to a series of simple commands that are programmed with chemical inputs by a scientist."

Leigh likens the robot's production methods to a machine on an automobile assembly line, picking up a panel and riveting it into place.

"Just like the robot in the factory, our molecular version can be programmed to position and rivet components in different ways to build different products, just on a much smaller scale at a molecular level," Leigh said.

One of the benefits of the new robot is its size. The molecular robot can help reduce material waste in various production processes. Researchers say it could also help speed up the drug discovery process. Smaller robots can also operate with improve energy efficiency and build smaller products.

Researchers described their breakthrough robot this week in the journal Nature.

"Our aim is to design and make the smallest machines possible," Leigh said. "This is just the start but we anticipate that within 10 to 20 years molecular robots will begin to be used to build molecules and materials on assembly lines in molecular factories."

Though the construction process is complex, the molecular robot is built the same way it builds new molecules, through a series of precisely controlled chemical reactions and the steady assemblage of atoms and smaller molecules into bigger molecules.

"It is the same sort of process scientists use to make medicines and plastics from simple chemical building blocks," Leigh said. "Then, once the nano-robots have been constructed, they are operated by scientists by adding chemical inputs which tell the robots what to do and when, just like a computer program."


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