Breakthrough may lead to large-scale quantum computing | KurzweilAI

Nanowire-double quantum dot (DQD) device stores spin qubits (credit: Petersson et. al.)

In a key step toward creating a working quantum computer, Princeton University researchers have developed a method that may allow for quick, reliable transfer of quantum information throughout a computing device.

The finding, by a team led by Princeton physicist Jason Petta, could eventually allow engineers to build quantum computers consisting of millions of quantum bits, or qubits. So far, quantum researchers have only been able to manipulate small numbers of qubits.

To make the transfer, Petta’s team used a stream of microwave photons to analyze a pair of electrons trapped in a tiny cage called a quantum dot. The “spin state” of the electrons — information about how they are spinning — serves as the qubit, a basic unit of information. The microwave stream allows the scientists to read that information.

“We create a cavity with mirrors on both ends … that reflect microwave radiation,” Petta said. “We send microwaves in one end, and we look at the microwaves as they come out the other end. The microwaves are affected by the spin states of the electrons in the cavity, and we can read that change.”

In an ordinary sense, the distances involved are very small; the entire apparatus operates over a little more than a centimeter. But on the subatomic scale, they are vast. It is like coordinating the motion of a top spinning on the moon with another on the surface of the earth.

“It’s the most amazing thing,” said Jake Taylor, a physicist at the National Institute of Standards and Technology and the Joint Quantum Institute at the University of Maryland, who worked on the project with the Princeton team. “You have a single electron almost completely changing the properties of an inch-long electrical system.”

Powerhouse Solar Cell Inspired by Leaf Biomimicry
A team of scientists headed up by Princeton University has achieved a whopping 47 percent increase in electricity generation from flexible plastic solar cells, simply by texturing the surface to mimic the wrinkles of a typical leaf.
Full Story: Cleantechnica
via emergentfutures:

Powerhouse Solar Cell Inspired by Leaf Biomimicry

A team of scientists headed up by Princeton University has achieved a whopping 47 percent increase in electricity generation from flexible plastic solar cells, simply by texturing the surface to mimic the wrinkles of a typical leaf.

Full Story: Cleantechnica

via emergentfutures:

Stanford Professors Launch Online University Coursera - Liz Gannes - News - AllThingsD
There seems to be something in the water at Stanford University that’s making faculty members leave their more-than-perfectly-good jobs and go teach online.
Stanford computer science professors Daphne Koller and Andrew Ng are on leave to launchCoursera, which will offer university classes for free online, in partnership with top schools.
Mountain View, Calif.-based Coursera is backed with $16 million in funding led by John Doerr at Kleiner Perkins and Scott Sandell at NEA. It has no immediate plans to charge for courses or to make money in other ways.
Compared to Udacity, a similar start-up from former Stanford professor Sebastian Thrunthat’s creating its own classes, Coursera helps support its university partners in creating their own courses, which are listed under each school’s brand.
Some might doubt that universities would want to share their prized content for free online with a start-up, but Coursera has already signed up Princeton, Stanford, the University of Michigan and the University of Pennsylvania as partners, with a set of classes launching April 23.

Stanford Professors Launch Online University Coursera - Liz Gannes - News - AllThingsD

There seems to be something in the water at Stanford University that’s making faculty members leave their more-than-perfectly-good jobs and go teach online.

Stanford computer science professors Daphne Koller and Andrew Ng are on leave to launchCoursera, which will offer university classes for free online, in partnership with top schools.

Mountain View, Calif.-based Coursera is backed with $16 million in funding led by John Doerr at Kleiner Perkins and Scott Sandell at NEA. It has no immediate plans to charge for courses or to make money in other ways.

Compared to Udacitya similar start-up from former Stanford professor Sebastian Thrunthat’s creating its own classes, Coursera helps support its university partners in creating their own courses, which are listed under each school’s brand.

Some might doubt that universities would want to share their prized content for free online with a start-up, but Coursera has already signed up Princeton, Stanford, the University of Michigan and the University of Pennsylvania as partners, with a set of classes launching April 23.