Build it and they will come – chip design creates computer blueprint

The design of a 3D silicon chip architecture clears another hurdle in the international race to build quantum computers.

Researchers at the University of Melbourne and the University of New South Wales (UNSW) have designed a chip based on single atom quantum bits, creating a blueprint for building a large-scale silicon quantum computer.

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Printing a cartilage repair kit

A new printing technology can now simultaneously print living stem cells and the environment they need to survive and become the right cell type. The first application is a cartilage repair kit.

“Our current 3D printers can integrate living and non-living materials in specific arrangements at a range of scales, from micrometres to millimetres,” says Professor Gordon Wallace, Director of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Electromaterials Science (ACES) at the University of Wollongong.

“And we’re developing new approaches that will enable 3D printing of nano-dimensional features.”

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Saving seagrass sanctuaries

Seagrass meadows provide food and habitat for everything from dugongs and birds to fish and tiny crabs.

Using maths to protect seagrass meadows and the communities they support .
Using maths to protect seagrass meadows and the communities they support .

Globally we’re losing over 100 sq. km per year due to dredging, coastal developments and runoff. That’s bad news for the animals they support, and bad news for us too, as seagrass supports healthy coastal fisheries as well as acting as a carbon store.

To see how seagrass can be given a fighting chance, Dr Paul Wu at the ARC Centre of Excellence for Mathematical and Statistical Frontiers and collaborators have put an extended modelling technique to new use, predicting seagrass health and suggests how some modified human activities could reduce the damage.

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Sending quantum information around the world

Sending quantum messages over long distances will be challenging. The signal will have to be amplified every few hundred kilometres, but conventional optical amplification would destroy the quantum message.

In a quantum information system, if you measure the light, you will destroy the information encoded on it. You need to store the light itself.

“We have to catch and store the light, but we’re not allowed to look at it to see what information it contains. If the system is working, the light will be exactly the same when we let it out again. We do this by absorbing the light into a cloud of atoms,” says Dr Ben Buchler.

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World’s oldest gem leading us to hidden treasures

Zircon, the oldest mineral on the planet, is helping geologists understand how Earth started out and how it continues to evolve. By better understanding the Earth’s structure, mining companies have been able to find new mineral deposits.

The team sampling with Pan-African Mining geological team in Madagascar. Credit: Julia Galin
The team sampling with Pan-African Mining geological team in Madagascar. Credit: Julia Galin

“Most of the mineral deposits that are exposed on the surface of the planet have already been found and mined, but we need to find the ones that are still hidden,” Dr Elena Belousova says.

She and her colleagues at the ARC Centre of Excellence for Core to Crust Fluid Systems have developed TerraneChron®, a tool that looks at zircons found in geological samples, such as rocks or sand in river beds, to find out when they crystallised.

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A path to large-scale manufacturing

The development of a two-quantum bit (qubit) logic gate in silicon heralds the possibility of moving quantum computers from experimental lab to large-scale manufacture much faster than other global research efforts.

Andrew (right) and his colleague Dr Menno Veldhorst in the UNSW laboratory. Credit: Paul Henderson-Kelly/University of New South Wales
Andrew (right) and his colleague Dr Menno Veldhorst in the UNSW laboratory.
Credit: Paul Henderson-Kelly/University of New South Wales

Scientia Professor Andrew Dzurak and his team have created a two-qubit gate – a critical component, which allows qubits to talk to each other and will form the basis for a quantum computer chip.

It’s an advance that the UK’s premier physics magazine, Physics World, declared one of the top 10 breakthroughs of 2015.

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Foldable batteries and scaffolds for muscle

Patented University of Wollongong technology is being used to create foldable batteries and textiles that are super strong, light, can repel water, and act as sensors.

Australian company Imagine Intelligent Materials has a commercial licensing deal to use the graphene manufacturing technology, developed at the ARC Centre of Excellence for Electromaterials Science (ACES) at the University of Wollongong.

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Smart credit limits save money for customers and banks

The credit limit you’re not using on your card is costing the bank money, and that’s increasing the cost for all customers’ cards.

Jonathan left a ‘big four’ bank to pursue his PhD at the University of Melbourne and the ARC Centre of Excellence for Mathematical and Statistical Frontiers, drawing on his experience to address a real-world problem.
Jonathan left a ‘big four’ bank to pursue his PhD at the University of Melbourne and the ARC Centre of Excellence for Mathematical and Statistical Frontiers, drawing on his experience to address a real-world problem.

Now, Melbourne mathematicians have developed a way of minimising this using the bank’s data on customer spending behaviour.

The unused credit costs the bank money because regulators require them to have funds in reserve – which they can’t invest elsewhere for profit – to cover the possibility you’ll make a large purchase and not pay the money back.

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Towards the first quantum computer – in silicon

Across the world, the race is on to develop the first quantum computer and an Australia research centre is at the front of the pack.

The Australian Government, Telstra and the Commonwealth Bank of Australia have recently recognised the pole position of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Quantum Computation and Communication Technology (CQC2T) by investing $46 million towards a targeted goal of realising a 10-qubit quantum integrated circuit in silicon within the next five years.

In this feature we explore some of the Centre’s advances in quantum information research.

For more information:
Centre for Quantum Computation and Communication Technology
Tony Raeside
tony.raeside@unsw.edu.au

Tracking fish with parasites and maths

How much fish move around is critical information for fisheries managers—for example they need to know if fish caught off Brisbane are a separate population to those caught off Cairns. Different tracking techniques, such as physical tags or genetic mapping, can be used but each method has its weaknesses.

A team of mathematicians is using pre-existing data on Spanish mackerel, using their hitchhiking parasites to track fish movements and model the populations.

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