Quantum computing in silicon hits 99 per cent accuracy

UNSW Sydney-led research paves the way for large silicon-based quantum processors for real-world manufacturing and application.

Australian researchers have proven that near error-free quantum computing is possible, paving the way to build silicon-based quantum devices compatible with current semiconductor manufacturing technology.

“Today’s publication in Nature shows our operations were 99 per cent error-free,” says Professor Andrea Morello of UNSW, who led the work, with partners in the US, Japan, Egypt, UTS and the University of Melbourne.

“When the errors are so rare, it becomes possible to detect them and correct them when they occur. This shows that it is possible to build quantum computers that have enough scale, and enough power, to handle meaningful computation.

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Building a silicon quantum computer chip atom by atom

An atomic array in silicon paves the way for large scale devices

A University of Melbourne led team have perfected a technique for embedding single atoms in a silicon wafer one-by-one. Their technology offers the potential to make quantum computers using the same methods that have given us cheap and reliable conventional devices containing billions of transistors.

“We could ‘hear’ the electronic click as each atom dropped into one of 10,000 sites in our prototype device. Our vision is to use this technique to build a very, very large-scale quantum device,” says Professor David Jamieson of The University of Melbourne, lead author of the Advanced Materials paper describing the process.

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Too much heavy metal stops stars producing

Stars evolve according to the elements they manufacture

Stars are giant factories that produce most of the elements in the Universe – including the elements in us, and in the Earth’s metal deposits. But what stars produce changes over time.

Two new papers published in MNRAS shed light on how the youngest generation of stars will eventually stop contributing metals back to the universe.

The authors are all members of ASTRO 3D, the ARC Centre of Excellence for All Sky Astrophysics in 3 Dimensions. They are based at Monash University, the Australian National University (ANU), and the Space Telescope Science Institute.

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Closing in on the first light in the Universe

Research using new antennas in the Australian hinterland has reduced background noise and brought us closer to finding a 13-billion-year-old signal

The early Universe was dark, filled with a hot soup of opaque particles. These condensed to form neutral hydrogen which coalesced to form the first stars in what astronomers call the Epoch of Reionisation (EoR).

“Finding the weak signal of this first light will help us understand how the early stars and galaxies formed,” says Dr Christene Lynch from ASTRO 3D, the ARC Centre of Excellence for All Sky Astrophysics in 3 Dimensions.

Dr Lynch is first author on a paper published in Publications of the Astronomical Society of Australia. She and her colleagues from Curtin University and the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research have reduced the background noise in their observations allowing them to home in on the elusive signal.

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Food and housing crisis for Melbourne’s native bees

RMIT researchers call on Melburnians to plant the right plants and create the right homes for native pollinators.
They say we’ll get better tomato crops, more flowers and boost urban biodiversity.

As Melbourne’s gardens burst into life after a wet spring, native insects are out looking for flowers and pollen. City gardeners rely on bees, butterflies and other insects to pollinate their plants, which is how flowering plants reproduce and grow fruit or seeds.

But city gardens often don’t have the right types of food and homes for these helpful native bees and flies, with knock-on effects for our gardens and for biodiversity. Urban ecologist Katherine Berthon from RMIT University found that only 43% of flowers in the Melbourne city gardens she studied were being used by bees and other pollinating insects.

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Fishing for solutions to the plastic problem

A University of Adelaide study shows industry players are open to measures to reduce plastics in seafood – but first they have to understand the problem.

More than 35 percent of fish caught in the waters off southern Australia contain microplastics, and the problem is most acute in South Australia, with plastic found in 49 percent of fish, according to research from the University of Adelaide.

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‘I saw cancer cells just popping up at me’

Smart microscope slides detect cancer:

invented at La Trobe, trialled at Peter Mac, made at ANFF, published in Nature.

A new microscope slide that can be used with any optical microscope may forever change how we identify cancer cells, according to a paper published in Nature.

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A CT brain scanner in an aircraft or ambulance?

Saving lives after stroke with a small aircraft or ambulance-mounted CT brain scanner

Adelaide company Micro-X (MX1) has started developing a small CT brain scanner that can be fitted in ambulances and emergency aircraft. If successful, the device will allow paramedics and retrieval teams to diagnose and then start treating stroke patients in the golden hour – the first hour after a stroke.

Today Micro-X signed a Project Agreement that will unlock $8 million of funding from a     $40 million grant awarded to the Australian Stroke Alliance under the Australian Government’s Frontier Health and Medical Research initiative. The funding will contribute to the development of the scanner for patient imaging trials in 2023.

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Rover ready for Australian Hospitals

ARTG listing for revolutionary lightweight x-ray machine

  • Globally unique new x-ray technology invented and made in Adelaide
  • Rover is a mobile digital x-ray imaging unit that’s lighter, cheaper, more robust, and more reliable than the competition
  • Micro-X has miniaturized X-ray tubes using carbon nanotube emitter technology that are one tenth of the weight of conventional glass tubes
  • Over 250 units operating in 30 countries around the world, first batch of Rover orders for Australia to be shipped.
Micro-X Rover is a mobile digital x-ray imaging unit that’s lighter, cheaper, more robust, and more reliable than the competition
Credit: Micro-X

An ultra-lightweight, highly mobile medical imaging device, the Micro-X Rover, that delivers easier and simpler x-ray imaging for patients and faster workflow for radiographers, has been given the green light by health authorities for sale in Australia.

The inclusion of Rover on the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods (ARTG) means better imaging solutions for Australians and opens a path to new manufacturing jobs in Adelaide.

“It’s fantastic now that we can really attack our own domestic market here in Australia with our own, highly price competitive, Australian made, proprietary product,” said Peter Rowland, managing director of Adelaide-based firm Micro-X, which invented the technology and developed this game-changing product.

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Sugar coating opens a path to low cost lithium sulfur batteries

Offering the potential to:

  • Drive an electric vehicle from Melbourne to Sydney on a single charge
  • Create lightweight batteries for drones and submarines
  • Unlock new avenues in aviation and maritime industries
  • Produce batteries in Australia with Australian lithium, without using cobalt and rare earth minerals.
Melbourne to Sydney on one charge: the new lithium-sulfur battery technology could store two to five times more energy. The Monash Energy Institute team (L-R): Mahdokht Shaibani, Mainak Majumder, Matthew Hill, Yingyi Huang.
Credit: Monash Energy Institute

Simply by adding sugar, researchers from the Monash Energy Institute have created a longer-lasting, lighter, more sustainable rival to the lithium-ion batteries that are essential for aviation, electric vehicles and submarines.

The Monash team, assisted by CSIRO, report in today’s edition of Nature Communications that using a glucose-based additive on the positive electrode they have managed to stabilise lithium-sulfur battery technology, long touted as the basis for the next generation of batteries.

“In less than a decade, this technology could lead to vehicles including electric buses and trucks that can travel from Melbourne to Sydney without recharging. It could also enable innovation in delivery and agricultural drones where light weight is paramount,” says lead author Professor Mainak Majumder, from the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering and Associate Director of the Monash Energy Institute.

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