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As Moore's law ends, brain-like computers begin

For five decades, Moore’s law held up pretty well: Roughly every two years, the number of transistors one could fit on a chip doubled, all while costs steadily declined. Today, however, transistors and other electronic components are so small they’re beginning to bump up against fundamental physical limits on their size. Moore’s law has reached its end, and it’s going to take something different to meet the need for computing that is ever faster, cheaper and more efficient.

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Jaime P Oliveira

Over the past 12 months NASA has added five missions to its orbiting Earth-observing fleet-the biggest one-year increase in more than a decade. NASA scientists will discuss early observations from the new missions and their current status during a media teleconference at 2 p.m. EST Thursday, Feb. 26. New views of global carbon dioxide, rain […]

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A high-performance, low-energy artificial synapse for neural network computing

For all the improvements in computer technology over the years, we still struggle to recreate the low-energy, elegant processing of the human brain. Now, researchers at Stanford University and Sandia National Laboratories have made an advance that could help computers mimic one piece of the brain’s efficient design – an artificial version of the space over which neurons communicate, called a synapse.

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Nicolae Ciprian Muntean

Rotating its internal magnets allows a HyperCell to climb on top of its colleagues until it finds the right position, then lock into place. Give a group of HyperCells a task, and each individual cell decides how it can best help achieve the global aim – like a team of bees or a colony of […]

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Physicists discover 'smoke rings' made of laser light

Most basic physics textbooks describe laser light in fairly simple terms: a beam travels directly from one point to another and, unless it strikes a mirror or other reflective surface, will continue traveling along an arrow-straight path, gradually expanding in size due to the wave nature of light. But these basic rules go out the window with high-intensity laser light.

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Brain circuit that drives sleep-wake states, sleep-preparation behavior is identified

Stanford University School of Medicine scientists have identified a brain circuit that’s indispensable to the sleep-wake cycle. This same circuit is also a key component of the reward system, an archipelago of interconnected brain clusters crucial to promoting behavior necessary for animals, including humans, to survive and reproduce.

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With MIT's "Gravito-Magnetic Trap" ATOMS move A Million Times Slower [VIDEO]

Atoms move a million times slower — it takes them half a minute to move one inch!  Only half-a-billionth of a degree above absolute zero!  MIT scientists have cooled a sodium gas to the lowest temperature ever recorded — only half-a-billionth of a degree above absolute zero. At absolute zero (-273 degrees C or -460 degrees F), all atomic motion comes to a standstill since the cooling process has extracted all the particles’ energy. By improving cooling methods, scientists have succeeded in getting closer and closer to absolute zero. At room temperature, atoms move at the speed of a jet airplane. At the new record-low temperature, atoms are a million times slower — it takes them half a minute to move one inch.

In an ordinary container, particles bounce off the walls. In our container, atoms are repelled by magnetic fields, explained physics graduate student Aaron Leanhardt.

For reaching the record-low temperatures, the MIT researchers invented a novel way of confining atoms, which they call a gravito-magnetic trap. As the name indicates, the magnetic fields act together with gravitational forces to keep the atoms trapped.

A Bose-Einstein condensate (BEC) is a state of matter of a dilute gas of bosons cooled to temperatures very close to absolute zero (that is, very near 0 K or −273.15 °C). Under such conditions, a large fraction of bosons occupy the lowest quantum state, at which point macroscopic quantum phenomena become apparent.

In this video Bose-Einstein Condensate of sodium atoms is created in lab at MIT by Martin Zwierlein. Using highly focused, single frequency lasers it is possible to cool the single sodium atoms, negating their thermal vibrations by inducing electronic transitions which effectively pushes them into place. This brings the atoms down to millikelivn temperatures.






Via: MIT