Friday, October 4, 2019

What Google’s quantum supremacy claim means for quantum computing

Google used a 54-qubit processor in its quantum supremacy experiment. Google photo.

Google’s team has even coined a term to describe how quickly quantum computing could gain on classical computing: “Neven’s Law,” which describes how quantum computing seems to gain power far more rapidly through double exponential growth.

“If you’ve ever plotted a double exponential [on a graph], it looks like the line is zero and then you hit the corner of a box and you go straight up,” says Andrew Sornborger, a theoretical physicist who studies quantum computers at Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico. “And so before and after, it’s not so much like an evolution, it’s more like an event—before you hit the corner and after you hit the corner.” (Full Story)

LANL teams with Arm for extreme-scale computing

Efficient Mission Centric Computing Consortium (EMC3), LANL graphic.

Los Alamos National Laboratory and Arm are teaming up to make efficient, workload-optimized processors tailored to the extreme-scale computing requirements of the Laboratory’s national-security mission. The collaboration addresses the challenges of connecting more and more processors as high performance computers become larger and more powerful.

High performance computers play a pivotal role in Los Alamos’ mission of maintaining the nation’s nuclear stockpile and understanding complicated physics through extreme-scale simulations that can take months to complete on today’s fastest computers. (Full Story)

Brazilian woman diagnosed with HIV after getting a manicure

Illustration from the Sentinel of Guwahati, India.

In a strange incident, a 22-year-old Brazilian woman was diagnosed with HIV after getting a manicure using shared equipment. Doctors say the case, which was first reported in the journal AIDS Research and Human Retroviruses last year, highlights a “new form of transmission for the virus.” According to Dr. Brian Foley, of the HIV Sequence Database at the Los Alamos National Laboratory, USA, the incident should not make you fearful of contact with people who have HIV because the risk of infection is very low.”

“It should make people aware that sharing any utensils with possible blood-blood contacts, such as needles used for drugs, tattoos, or acupuncture can result in the transmission of viruses such as hepatitis C (HCV) and HIV.” (Full Story)

Los Alamos Reporter visits with LANL air and water quality monitoring staff

David Fuehne explains how data is obtained by air monitoring stations throughout the area. LA Reporter photo.

Living with a national laboratory in the neighborhood, the safety and health of the people and the environment probably crosses one’s mind a little more often than it might if one were living elsewhere. On a recent visit to the Los Alamos National Laboratory, the Los Alamos Reporter was surprised to learn that more than 700 staff members are involved in the Lab’s 140 environmental safety and health programs – making it comparable to a state program as large as that run by the state of California.

The morning began with a tour of some of the Lab’s offsite AIRNET air monitoring equipment close to Los Alamos Medical Center with David Fuehne, technical program leader for radionuclide emissions. In terms of pollution, Fuehne and his team are looking for particulate radionuclides like uranium or plutonium. (Full Story)

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