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  • richardmitnick 10:19 am on August 25, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "RNA technologies explained-the long and the short of it", An mRNA vaccine is essentially a code that when it enters a cell tells it to make a specific protein., , Beyond vaccines mRNA could also be used to treat certain forms of cancers or even create cancer vaccines., , Broadly speaking RNA comes in two forms: long and short., Developing short RNA based COVID-19 treatments will be a focus of the NSW RNA Production and Research Network collaboration funded by NSW Health., In contrast to long RNAs there are other RNAs that are very short-perhaps only 20-21 nucleobases-such as in small interfering RNA (siRNA)., mRNA vaccines are “long” RNA – typically 1000s of nucleobases., RNA Bioscience Alliance between all the NSW Universities, RNA is the software that runs the cell – it carries information from the genes (the DNA) to the factories that make proteins., Short RNAs have already been used in patients with an equally if not more impressive range of therapeutic applications., University of New South Wales (AU), UNSW RNA Institute, Whether with short or long-form RNA the key to their success in medicine is the delivery system – the nanoparticles that carry RNA towards their target.   

    From University of New South Wales (AU) : “RNA technologies explained-the long and the short of it” 

    U NSW bloc

    From University of New South Wales (AU)

    25 Aug 2021
    Pall Thordarson
    Nicholas Fisk

    Beyond fighting pandemics with mRNA vaccines, there is significant potential to treat cancer, genetic and autoimmune diseases.

    1
    The newly established UNSW RNA Institute is part of a collaborative, RNA Bioscience alliance between NSW universities. Photo: Shutterstock.

    The mRNA vaccine success story is one of the few positives to emerge from COVID-19. But these vaccines from Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech are only the tip of the iceberg in the coming RNA medical technology revolution.

    Australia, including our newly established UNSW RNA Institute, is well-placed to take a leading role in this revolution. With its eyes firmly set on making NSW a global force in the RNA industry, the NSW Government is backing a new RNA Bioscience Alliance between all the NSW Universities as well as funding a $15 million RNA production network between some of the state’s leading research organisations to bootstrap pre-clinical RNA research. UNSW’s RNA Institute is a key part of this drive, and with a $25 million investment brings together world-leading expertise to support the state and national agenda.

    So beyond mRNA vaccines, what are these RNA therapeutics on the horizon? And what is the secret sauce that finally got mRNA vaccines to work after many years of trying? To understand this, let’s first tackle what RNA is and how it is used in medicine.

    What is RNA?

    In simple terms, RNA is the software that runs the cell – it carries information from the genes (the DNA) to the factories that make proteins – the key building blocks of life. An mRNA vaccine is essentially a code that when it enters a cell tells it to make a specific protein.

    For COVID, that is the ‘spike’ protein that normally sit on the virus’s outer shell. Like the fragment of a virus you find broken down in soapy water, they are themselves harmless; however the body recognises these proteins as foreign and then learns how to fight next time if the real virus turns up. But mRNA is only one form of RNA – there are myriad other types of RNA – many of which were thought to be junk but are now recognised to play key roles in how cells work.

    Broadly speaking RNA comes in two forms: long and short. mRNA vaccines are “long” RNA – typically 1000s of nucleobases – where each base is like a byte in programming code. Beyond vaccines mRNA could also be used to treat certain forms of cancers or even create cancer vaccines.

    In contrast to long RNAs there are other RNAs that are very short-perhaps only 20-21 nucleobases-such as in small interfering RNA (siRNA). Such short RNAs have already been used in patients with an equally if not more impressive range of therapeutic applications, including in genetic disorders, cancer, and even as treatment against viruses themselves. This includes work at the UNSW Kirby Institute on short RNA treatments against HIV and SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for this pandemic.

    Whether with short or long-form RNA the key to their success in medicine is the delivery system – the nanoparticles that carry RNA towards their target. Without these, RNA therapeutics and vaccines would never have become a reality, as “naked” RNA is unable to enter cells and instead is rapidly broken down once injected. This is where nanomedicine – an area of particular strength here at UNSW – comes to the fore.

    The first RNA drug, Onpattro, a short-form RNA (siRNA) approved in the US in 2018 to treat a debilitating hereditary nerve disorder, is delivered in a lipid nanoparticle not dissimilar to those that Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna use in their mRNA vaccines. Undoubtedly R&D on short RNA therapies paved the way for the rapid development and safe launch last year of the mRNA vaccines against COVID-19.

    What is next for RNA therapies and technologies?

    This is the challenge that our new UNSW RNA Institute will address. We have brought together scientists, engineers, and medical researchers to work on key bottlenecks at the frontier of RNA science and medicine.

    Projects will range from advancing short RNA treatments to unravelling the complex roles that RNA has in brain development, including possibly unlocking the root causes of elusive neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s. Developing short RNA based COVID-19 treatments will be a focus of the NSW RNA Production and Research Network collaboration funded by NSW Health.

    Another focus for the Network is delivery systems to the airways, the lungs and even the nose. If we can administer RNA via a simple puffer or inhaler rather than a syringe, this would be a safer more efficient way of tackling an emerging viral infection.

    To this end, experts from the Kirby Institute, Children’s Cancer Institute, The Australian Centre for Nanomedicine at UNSW and the Woolcock Institute in Sydney, have joined forces aiming to transform the RNA therapeutics field by making inhaled delivery of both short and long RNAs a reality.

    The research expertise held in our universities, coupled with the ambition that the NSW state has for RNA manufacturing and the Federal Government’s plan to support a large-scale mRNA manufacturing capability in Australia, gives every reason to be very optimistic about the future RNA ecosystem for Australia.

    See the full article here .


    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    U NSW Campus

    The University of New South Wales is an Australian public university with its largest campus in the Sydney suburb of Kensington.

    Established in 1949, UNSW is a research university, ranked 44th in the world in the 2021 QS World University Rankings and 67th in the world in the 2021 Times Higher Education World University Rankings. UNSW is one of the founding members of the Group of Eight, a coalition of Australian research-intensive universities, and of Universitas 21, a global network of research universities. It has international exchange and research partnerships with over 200 universities around the world.

    According to the 2021 QS World University Rankings by Subject, UNSW is ranked top 20 in the world for Law, Accounting and Finance, and 1st in Australia for Mathematics, Engineering and Technology. UNSW also leads Australia in Medicine, where the median ATAR (Australian university entrance examination results) of its Medical School students is higher than any other Australian medical school. UNSW enrolls the highest number of Australia’s top 500 high school students academically, and produces more millionaire graduates than any other Australian university.

    The university comprises seven faculties, through which it offers bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees. The main campus is in the Sydney suburb of Kensington, 7 kilometres (4.3 mi) from the Sydney CBD. The creative arts faculty, UNSW Art & Design, is located in Paddington, and subcampuses are located in the Sydney CBD as well as several other suburbs, including Randwick and Coogee. Research stations are located throughout the state of New South Wales.

    The university’s second largest campus, known as UNSW Canberra at ADFA (formerly known as UNSW at ADFA), is situated in Canberra, in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT). ADFA is the military academy of the Australian Defense Force, and UNSW Canberra is the only national academic institution with a defense focus.

    Research centres

    The university has a number of purpose-built research facilities, including:

    UNSW Lowy Cancer Research Centre is Australia’s first facility bringing together researchers in childhood and adult cancers, as well as one of the country’s largest cancer-research facilities, housing up to 400 researchers.
    The Mark Wainwright Analytical Centre is a centre for the faculties of science, medicine, and engineering. It is used to study the structure and composition of biological, chemical, and physical materials.
    UNSW Canberra Cyber is a cyber-security research and teaching centre.
    The Sino-Australian Research Centre for Coastal Management (SARCCM) has a multidisciplinary focus, and works collaboratively with the Ocean University of China [中國海洋大學](CN) in coastal management research.

     
  • richardmitnick 12:57 pm on August 23, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "How a scientist made sure the oceans weren't forgotten", , , Blue New Deal, Coastal ecosystems such as mangroves can absorb four times more carbon per hectare than a forest and provide protection from storms “which are increasingly frequent and severe”., , Green New Deal, , The future of our oceans in this critical period of climate change., The ocean has absorbed a third of the carbon dioxide emitted by burning fossil fuels., The ocean is not just a victim-it’s also a hero., University of New South Wales (AU)   

    From University of New South Wales (AU) : “How a scientist made sure the oceans weren’t forgotten” 

    U NSW bloc

    From University of New South Wales (AU)

    23 Aug 2021
    Diane Nazaroff

    In a UNSW Science Week event, Dr Ayana Elizabeth Johnson said the key to fighting the climate crisis is saving the oceans.

    1
    US marine scientist Dr Ayana Elizabeth Johnson says the ocean has absorbed a third of the carbon dioxide emitted by burning fossil fuels. Photo: Shutterstock.

    US marine scientist and self-described policy nerd Dr Ayana Elizabeth Johnson remembers scrolling through the 2019 policy Green New Deal and being stunned to see no mention of the oceans in there.

    The 14-page document was proposed by congressional Democrats to tackle climate change with the goal of net zero global emissions by 2050 and the creation of new clean energy industries.

    “My gut reaction was if this proposal doesn’t include the ocean, it’s just never going to be enough,” Dr Johnson told Dean of UNSW Science, Professor Emma Johnston at the Justice for the Oceans event last weekend.

    The event was hosted by the UNSW Centre for Ideas as part of UNSW’s Science Week festivities.

    Prof. Johnston, also a marine biologist who is focused on coastal ecology, led a discussion that explored the future of our oceans in this critical period of climate change.

    “Because the ocean is bearing the brunt of a lot of impacts of climate…it has absorbed over 90 per cent of the heat that we’ve trapped with greenhouse gases,” Dr Johnson said.

    “It’s absorbed about a third of the carbon dioxide we’ve emitted by burning fossil fuels and this has changed the ocean dramatically.”

    Blue New Deal

    Last year Dr Johnson co-authored the Blue New Deal, a roadmap for including ocean in climate policy, for Democrat Elizabeth Warren as part of her 2020 presidential campaign.

    “What I thought of when I saw this congressional resolution [Green New Deal] was that ‘they’re leaving out a lot of solutions’,” she said.

    “Because the ocean is not just a victim-it’s also a hero.”

    Coastal ecosystems such as mangroves can absorb four times more carbon per hectare than a forest and provide protection from storms “which are increasingly frequent and severe”.

    There are many other benefits of the ocean, such as offshore wind turbines, floating solar panels, tidal energy, seaweed and shellfish farming, “things that you don’t need to feed that absorb a lot of carbon and can be very nutritious…and provide a lot of jobs”.

    Dr Johnson described how her fascination with the sea started as a child, growing up in Brooklyn, New York.

    She didn’t often go to the beach but when she was five, her family took her to Florida where she learned to swim.

    “I went to the beach and I went on a glass-bottomed boat and I saw a coral reef for the first time,” she said.

    “And I realised that there was this whole other universe and I wanted to know everything about it…I was like, why did no one tell me about this?”

    Dr Johnson said while many of her fellow students at university were “experienced scuba divers, or who had grown up sailing or as lifeguards at the beach”, she had a more academic interest in studying marine science.

    “Clearly there needs to be better management and learning that, after falling in love with something and then realising that it’s threatened, of course your reaction is, ‘well, what are we going to do about it?’

    Disruptions to culture

    As the daughter of a Jamaican immigrant, Dr Johnson said she grew up understanding how deeply intertwined Caribbean cultures were with the sea.

    “I was always so curious about, through [my dad’s] stories, and hearing that in his lifetime, the coral reef ecosystems of Jamaica had really crumbled before his eyes,” she said.

    “It’s the thought of a grandparent not being able to take their grandkid fishing, because there’s nothing to catch, is heartbreaking.

    “And this is something that is passed down from generations. Or to think you can’t have a fish fry on the beach, or the water’s too polluted to go swimming with your family and friends.

    “Like, these are not just disruptions to nature, but also disruptions to culture.”

    For this reason, she said it’s important to broaden diversity “of people deciding on the hypotheses”.

    Dr Johnson said she wouldn’t describe herself as good at science, “I just really cared”.

    “When I got to college…certainly my best grades were not in science and it wasn’t the easiest for me, but it was the most interesting,” she said.

    “For a lot of people, it’s this passion and curiosity that leads to discoveries, it’s not who can memorize the most facts.”


    Justice for the Oceans. 56 minutes

    Dr Johnson said she has been “very grateful” for her scientific education as a way to help her translate science for informing policymaking.

    “I’m one of those weirdos who did a PhD in marine biology, without ever intending to be a researcher, without ever intending to be an academic or a professor, but I was like, I want to understand this stuff really well,” she said.

    Early in her career, Dr Johnson was a former executive director of the Waitt Institute, a not-for-profit organisation which creates sustainable ocean plans with governments and local stakeholders such as in the Caribbean.

    She has also developed policy at the Environmental Protection Authority (US) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (US).

    Coastal city solutions

    In recent years, Dr Johnson co-founded the Urban Ocean Lab, a think tank which provides policy solutions for coastal cities, where a big proportion of humanity live.

    In the US, about a third of the population live in coastal cities, mirroring the global trend, and 40 per cent of Americans live in coastal counties.

    “So how are we preparing for the impacts of climate change that are already certain to come, and adapting accordingly?,” she said.

    “Urban Ocean Lab is focused on cities because cities as a level of government can make a lot of their own decisions about policy and how they want to approach things.”

    Dr Johnson said she now focuses her policy work on three urgent issues for the ocean: how to sustainably manage fishing; how to fix ocean pollution from untreated sewage and plastic waste; and the destruction of coastal ecosystems for housing and infrastructure.

    “I’ve shifted my work to say ‘How do we make sure that we’re including the ocean when it comes to climate policy?’,” she said.

    Besides governments, Dr Johnson is also keen to inspire the general public into action on climate change.

    She created and co-hosts the popular US podcast How to Save a Planet, which asks the questions of what do people need to do to solve the climate crisis and how to get it done.

    Last year she published the anthology All We Can Save, written by female “not world famous” contributors who are working on climate solutions.

    Elevate women

    The purpose of the book was to elevate the platform and voices of the women who were being overlooked for their important work, and at the same time, show the many ways others can contribute climate solutions.

    “I would say one of the major failings of the modern environmental movement has often been to ask everyone to do the same thing,” she said.

    “Like everyone march, everyone donate, everyone spread the word, everyone vote and like do those things, please do those things, I do those things, I’m not going to stop.

    “But if we don’t bring to the table the thing that we are particularly good at, then it’s a real missed opportunity.”

    Women have often been left out of the decision making on climate issues, the marine scientist said.

    “And we know that quantitatively that that is making the outcomes worse,” she said.

    “When there are more women members of parliament we get more and better environmental policy and its more well enforced and we sign the treaties and we do the things to reduce the impacts of climate change.”

    Need more leaders

    She said the environmental movement could model itself on the Black Lives Matter movement, which has “a lot of people in different cities organising their people in their place, around local policies or injustices”.

    “We don’t need one hero, we need thousands of people transforming the places where they live, because if what we need to do is transform our electricity transportation, land use, agriculture, manufacturing, buildings…we need leaders in all of those sectors, in every location.”

    While the work of building consensus about how to manage the ocean is time consuming, she said it’s a frustrating truth that “if you want to go fast, go alone, if you want to go far, go together”.

    “But at the same time, we absolutely can’t wait until everyone 100 per cent agrees on everything, because we’d never get anything done,” she said.

    “There also has to be a limit…we have to restore and protect things.”

    See the full article here .


    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    U NSW Campus

    The University of New South Wales is an Australian public university with its largest campus in the Sydney suburb of Kensington.

    Established in 1949, UNSW is a research university, ranked 44th in the world in the 2021 QS World University Rankings and 67th in the world in the 2021 Times Higher Education World University Rankings. UNSW is one of the founding members of the Group of Eight, a coalition of Australian research-intensive universities, and of Universitas 21, a global network of research universities. It has international exchange and research partnerships with over 200 universities around the world.

    According to the 2021 QS World University Rankings by Subject, UNSW is ranked top 20 in the world for Law, Accounting and Finance, and 1st in Australia for Mathematics, Engineering and Technology. UNSW also leads Australia in Medicine, where the median ATAR (Australian university entrance examination results) of its Medical School students is higher than any other Australian medical school. UNSW enrolls the highest number of Australia’s top 500 high school students academically, and produces more millionaire graduates than any other Australian university.

    The university comprises seven faculties, through which it offers bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees. The main campus is in the Sydney suburb of Kensington, 7 kilometres (4.3 mi) from the Sydney CBD. The creative arts faculty, UNSW Art & Design, is located in Paddington, and subcampuses are located in the Sydney CBD as well as several other suburbs, including Randwick and Coogee. Research stations are located throughout the state of New South Wales.

    The university’s second largest campus, known as UNSW Canberra at ADFA (formerly known as UNSW at ADFA), is situated in Canberra, in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT). ADFA is the military academy of the Australian Defense Force, and UNSW Canberra is the only national academic institution with a defense focus.

    Research centres

    The university has a number of purpose-built research facilities, including:

    UNSW Lowy Cancer Research Centre is Australia’s first facility bringing together researchers in childhood and adult cancers, as well as one of the country’s largest cancer-research facilities, housing up to 400 researchers.
    The Mark Wainwright Analytical Centre is a centre for the faculties of science, medicine, and engineering. It is used to study the structure and composition of biological, chemical, and physical materials.
    UNSW Canberra Cyber is a cyber-security research and teaching centre.
    The Sino-Australian Research Centre for Coastal Management (SARCCM) has a multidisciplinary focus, and works collaboratively with the Ocean University of China [中國海洋大學](CN) in coastal management research.

     
  • richardmitnick 4:20 pm on August 13, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "'Missing jigsaw piece'-engineers make critical advance in quantum computer design", A decades-old problem about how to reliably control millions of qubits in a silicon quantum computer chip has now been solved., Dr Pla and the team introduced a new component directly above the silicon chip – a crystal prism called a dielectric resonator., How to control not just a few but millions of qubits without taking up valuable space with more wiring; using more electricity; and generating more heat., The team looked at the feasibility of generating a magnetic field from above the chip that could manipulate all of the qubits simultaneously., This idea of controlling all qubits simultaneously was first posited by quantum computing scientists back in the 1990s., University of New South Wales (AU)   

    From University of New South Wales (AU) : “‘Missing jigsaw piece’-engineers make critical advance in quantum computer design” 

    U NSW bloc

    From University of New South Wales (AU)

    14 Aug 2021
    Lachlan Gilbert

    A decades-old problem about how to reliably control millions of qubits in a silicon quantum computer chip has now been solved.

    1
    Dr Jarryd Pla and Professor Andrew Dzurak have solved the problem of how to reliably control not just a few, but millions of qubits. Photo: UNSW.

    Quantum engineers from UNSW Sydney have removed a major obstacle that has stood in the way of quantum computers becoming a reality: they discovered a new technique they say will be capable of controlling millions of spin qubits – the basic units of information in a silicon quantum processor.

    Until now, quantum computer engineers and scientists have worked with a proof-of-concept model of quantum processors by demonstrating the control of only a handful of qubits.

    But with their latest research, published today in Science Advances, the team have found what they consider ‘the missing jigsaw piece’ in the quantum computer architecture that should enable the control of the millions of qubits needed for extraordinarily complex calculations.


    “Missing jigsaw piece”: engineers make critical advance in quantum computer design.

    Dr Jarryd Pla, a faculty member in UNSW’s School of Electrical Engineering and Telecommunications says his research team wanted to crack the problem that had stumped quantum computer scientists for decades: how to control not just a few but millions of qubits without taking up valuable space with more wiring; using more electricity; and generating more heat.

    “Up until this point, controlling electron spin qubits relied on us delivering microwave magnetic fields by putting a current through a wire right beside the qubit,” Dr Pla says.

    “This poses some real challenges if we want to scale up to the millions of qubits that a quantum computer will need to solve globally significant problems, such as the design of new vaccines.”

    “First off, the magnetic fields drop off really quickly with distance, so we can only control those qubits closest to the wire. That means we would need to add more and more wires as we brought in more and more qubits, which would take up a lot of real estate on the chip.”

    And since the chip must operate at freezing cold temperatures, below -270°C, Dr Pla says introducing more wires would generate way too much heat in the chip, interfering with the reliability of the qubits.

    “So we come back to only being able to control a few qubits with this wire technique,” Dr Pla says.

    Lightbulb moment

    The solution to this problem involved a complete reimagining of the silicon chip structure.

    Rather than having thousands of control wires on the same thumbnail-sized silicon chip that also needs to contain millions of qubits, the team looked at the feasibility of generating a magnetic field from above the chip that could manipulate all of the qubits simultaneously.

    This idea of controlling all qubits simultaneously was first posited by quantum computing scientists back in the 1990s, but so far, nobody had worked out a practical way to do this – until now.

    “First we removed the wire next to the qubits and then came up with a novel way to deliver microwave-frequency magnetic control fields across the entire system. So in principle, we could deliver control fields to up to four million qubits,” says Dr Pla.

    Dr Pla and the team introduced a new component directly above the silicon chip – a crystal prism called a dielectric resonator. When microwaves are directed into the resonator, it focuses the wavelength of the microwaves down to a much smaller size.

    “The dielectric resonator shrinks the wavelength down below one millimetre, so we now have a very efficient conversion of microwave power into the magnetic field that controls the spins of all the qubits.

    “There are two key innovations here. The first is that we don’t have to put in a lot of power to get a strong driving field for the qubits, which crucially means we don’t generate much heat. The second is that the field is very uniform across the chip, so that millions of qubits all experience the same level of control.”

    2
    An artist’s impression of the crystal prism – aka dielectric resonator – placed above the millions of qubits which it can then control in a uniform way. Image: Tony Melov.

    Quantum team-up

    Although Dr Pla and his team had developed the prototype resonator technology, they didn’t have the silicon qubits to test it on. So he spoke with his engineering colleague at UNSW, Scientia Professor Andrew Dzurak, whose team had over the past decade demonstrated the first and the most accurate quantum logic using the same silicon manufacturing technology used to make conventional computer chips.

    “I was completely blown away when Jarryd came to me with his new idea,” Prof. Dzurak says, “and we immediately got down to work to see how we could integrate it with the qubit chips that my team has developed.

    “We put two of our best PhD students on the project, Ensar Vahapoglu from my team, and James Slack-Smith from Jarryd’s.

    “We were overjoyed when the experiment proved successful. This problem of how to control millions of qubits had been worrying me for a long time, since it was a major roadblock to building a full-scale quantum computer.”

    Once only dreamt about in the 1980s, quantum computers using thousands of qubits to solve problems of commercial significance may now be less than a decade away. Beyond that, they are expected to bring new firepower to solving global challenges and developing new technologies because of their ability to model extraordinarily complex systems.

    Climate change, drug and vaccine design, code decryption and artificial intelligence all stand to benefit from quantum computing technology.

    Looking ahead

    Next up, the team plans to use this new technology to simplify the design of near-term silicon quantum processors.

    “Removing the on-chip control wire frees up space for additional qubits and all of the other electronics required to build a quantum processor. It makes the task of going to the next step of producing devices with some tens of qubits much simpler,” says Prof. Dzurak.

    “While there are engineering challenges to resolve before processors with a million qubits can be made, we are excited by the fact that we now have a way to control them,” says Dr Pla.

    See the full article here .


    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    U NSW Campus

    The University of New South Wales is an Australian public university with its largest campus in the Sydney suburb of Kensington.

    Established in 1949, UNSW is a research university, ranked 44th in the world in the 2021 QS World University Rankings and 67th in the world in the 2021 Times Higher Education World University Rankings. UNSW is one of the founding members of the Group of Eight, a coalition of Australian research-intensive universities, and of Universitas 21, a global network of research universities. It has international exchange and research partnerships with over 200 universities around the world.

    According to the 2021 QS World University Rankings by Subject, UNSW is ranked top 20 in the world for Law, Accounting and Finance, and 1st in Australia for Mathematics, Engineering and Technology. UNSW also leads Australia in Medicine, where the median ATAR (Australian university entrance examination results) of its Medical School students is higher than any other Australian medical school. UNSW enrolls the highest number of Australia’s top 500 high school students academically, and produces more millionaire graduates than any other Australian university.

    The university comprises seven faculties, through which it offers bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees. The main campus is in the Sydney suburb of Kensington, 7 kilometres (4.3 mi) from the Sydney CBD. The creative arts faculty, UNSW Art & Design, is located in Paddington, and subcampuses are located in the Sydney CBD as well as several other suburbs, including Randwick and Coogee. Research stations are located throughout the state of New South Wales.

    The university’s second largest campus, known as UNSW Canberra at ADFA (formerly known as UNSW at ADFA), is situated in Canberra, in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT). ADFA is the military academy of the Australian Defense Force, and UNSW Canberra is the only national academic institution with a defense focus.

    Research centres

    The university has a number of purpose-built research facilities, including:

    UNSW Lowy Cancer Research Centre is Australia’s first facility bringing together researchers in childhood and adult cancers, as well as one of the country’s largest cancer-research facilities, housing up to 400 researchers.
    The Mark Wainwright Analytical Centre is a centre for the faculties of science, medicine, and engineering. It is used to study the structure and composition of biological, chemical, and physical materials.
    UNSW Canberra Cyber is a cyber-security research and teaching centre.
    The Sino-Australian Research Centre for Coastal Management (SARCCM) has a multidisciplinary focus, and works collaboratively with the Ocean University of China [中國海洋大學](CN) in coastal management research.

     
  • richardmitnick 2:20 pm on July 21, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "UNSW tops ARC Research Hub grants", , Australian Research Council (ARC) Industrial Transformation Research Program, Delivering technologies that will address Australia’s critical infrastructure needs in the urban; energy; and resources sectors., Positioning Australia at the forefront of connected health by integrating sensor science with cyber-secure data analytics., University of New South Wales (AU)   

    From University of New South Wales (AU) : “UNSW tops ARC Research Hub grants” 

    U NSW bloc

    From University of New South Wales (AU)

    21 Jul 2021
    Yolande Hutchinson

    More than $9 million in ARC grants have been awarded to two UNSW Sydney projects providing research into sensors for the health sector and new technologies for Australia’s infrastructure needs.

    1
    The ARC Industrial Transformation Research Program supports collaborative research activity between industry and the Australian higher education sector. Photo: Shutterstock.

    UNSW Sydney has secured $9.9 million in Australian Research Council (ARC) Industrial Transformation Research Program grants for 2021, topping the nation for the largest share of funding.

    The two UNSW projects will provide innovative research and create stronger connections between research and industry in the health, urban, energy and resources sectors.

    In a media release, Minister for Education and Youth Alan Tudge announced the federal government is investing $74 million to open 16 new research hubs and training centres around the country, as part of the commitment to commercialising Australian research.

    UNSW Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research & Enterprise) Professor Nicholas Fisk said: “To secure a quarter of the national awards to transform research for the new industrial economies is outstanding, and I congratulate Professors Nasser Khalili and Chun Wang. These two hubs are exemplars of scale and collaboration, involving a total of nine universities, nearly 50 partner organisations, over 60 chief investigators with two thirds at UNSW, and a total cash and in kind spend of around $25 million.”

    Professor Chun Wang, Head of the School of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering at UNSW Engineering, will lead a hub awarded $5 million to co-design, verify, and certify sensors that industry partners will deploy to global health markets.

    The hub aims to position Australia at the forefront of connected health by integrating sensor science with cyber-secure data analytics, regulatory approval and certified manufacturing capabilities.

    “The health sensors will be able to monitor biophysical and biochemical markers to aid rehabilitation and chronic disease management, and support frail, ageing and at-risk populations. By bringing together 30 industry partners and seven universities, the hub aims to build a national end-to-end ecosystem for the design, manufacturing, and commercialisation of clinical-grade sensors and predictive analytics tools,” Prof. Wang said.

    Professor Nasser Khalili, Deputy Head of the School of Civil & Environmental Engineering at UNSW Engineering, will lead a hub awarded $4.98 million. The hub aims to deliver technologies that will address Australia’s critical infrastructure needs in the urban, energy and resources sectors.

    The hub will integrate sensor technology, connectivity, data analytics, machine learning, robotics, smart materials, and reliable models.

    “A frontier arena of research, the hub will provide a fully integrated platform for the development and delivery of next-generation digital technologies for Australia’s infrastructure. The technologies will enable design, real-time performance analysis and life-management of infrastructure,” Prof. Khalili said.

    “The hub will solve industry challenges and translate research and development into commercial opportunities and outcomes.”

    See the full article here .


    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    U NSW Campus

    The University of New South Wales is an Australian public university with its largest campus in the Sydney suburb of Kensington.

    Established in 1949, UNSW is a research university, ranked 44th in the world in the 2021 QS World University Rankings and 67th in the world in the 2021 Times Higher Education World University Rankings. UNSW is one of the founding members of the Group of Eight, a coalition of Australian research-intensive universities, and of Universitas 21, a global network of research universities. It has international exchange and research partnerships with over 200 universities around the world.

    According to the 2021 QS World University Rankings by Subject, UNSW is ranked top 20 in the world for Law, Accounting and Finance, and 1st in Australia for Mathematics, Engineering and Technology. UNSW also leads Australia in Medicine, where the median ATAR (Australian university entrance examination results) of its Medical School students is higher than any other Australian medical school. UNSW enrolls the highest number of Australia’s top 500 high school students academically, and produces more millionaire graduates than any other Australian university.

    The university comprises seven faculties, through which it offers bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees. The main campus is in the Sydney suburb of Kensington, 7 kilometres (4.3 mi) from the Sydney CBD. The creative arts faculty, UNSW Art & Design, is located in Paddington, and subcampuses are located in the Sydney CBD as well as several other suburbs, including Randwick and Coogee. Research stations are located throughout the state of New South Wales.

    The university’s second largest campus, known as UNSW Canberra at ADFA (formerly known as UNSW at ADFA), is situated in Canberra, in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT). ADFA is the military academy of the Australian Defense Force, and UNSW Canberra is the only national academic institution with a defense focus.

    Research centres

    The university has a number of purpose-built research facilities, including:

    UNSW Lowy Cancer Research Centre is Australia’s first facility bringing together researchers in childhood and adult cancers, as well as one of the country’s largest cancer-research facilities, housing up to 400 researchers.
    The Mark Wainwright Analytical Centre is a centre for the faculties of science, medicine, and engineering. It is used to study the structure and composition of biological, chemical, and physical materials.
    UNSW Canberra Cyber is a cyber-security research and teaching centre.
    The Sino-Australian Research Centre for Coastal Management (SARCCM) has a multidisciplinary focus, and works collaboratively with the Ocean University of China [中國海洋大學](CN) in coastal management research.

     
  • richardmitnick 3:22 pm on July 18, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Scientists get to the bottom of deep Pacific ventilation", , How and where does this old water eventually return to the surface? Two theories described., Ocean Biogeochemistry, , The deep North Pacific is a vast reservoir of remineralized nutrients and respired carbon that have accumulated over centuries., The deep Pacific plays a key role in the earth's climate system., The scientists were able to quantify in detail the pathways and timescales with which the shadow zone exchanges water with the surface ocean., University of New South Wales (AU), UNSW Science's School of Mathematics & Statistics, What are the pathways of the ocean circulation that supply newly ventilated surface water to the deep Pacific?   

    From University of New South Wales (AU) via phys.org : “Scientists get to the bottom of deep Pacific ventilation” 

    U NSW bloc

    From University of New South Wales (AU)

    via

    phys.org

    July 16, 2021

    1
    Credit: CC0 Public Domain.

    Recent findings, with important implications for ocean biogeochemistry and climate science, have been published by Nature Communications in a paper by Associate Professor Mark Holzer from UNSW Science’s School of Mathematics & Statistics, with co-authors Tim DeVries (University of California-Santa Barbara (US)) and Casimir de Lavergne (LOCEAN: Laboratory of Oceanography and Climatology |[GIS Climat Environnement Société] (FR) (CNRS) (CEA)).

    “The deep North Pacific is a vast reservoir of remineralized nutrients and respired carbon that have accumulated over centuries,” says Holzer. “When these deep waters are returned to the surface, their nutrients support biological production and their dissolved CO2 can be released into the atmosphere. As such, the deep Pacific plays a key role in the earth’s climate system.”

    But what are the pathways of the ocean circulation that supply newly ventilated surface water to the deep Pacific? And how and where does this old water eventually return to the surface? To date, there were two competing theories for the role that the overturning circulation plays in this.

    One theory—the ‘standard conveyor’—envisions broad overturning with Antarctic Bottom Water upwelling to around 1.5 km depth before flowing back south to the Southern Ocean. The other theory—the ‘shadowed conveyor’—argues that the overturning is compressed to lie below about 2.5 km with a largely stagnant “shadow zone” above it.

    “Our work reconciles these two theories: the shadowed conveyor correctly captures vertically compressed overturning beneath a shadow zone, while the standard view must be broadly interpreted in terms of water paths diffusing through the shadow zone. Because the shadow zone is largely shielded from the overturning circulation the question becomes how exactly does water get into and out of it,” Holzer says.

    Using novel mathematical analyses applied to a state-of-the-art ocean circulation model that optimally fits the circulation to observed tracer distributions and surface forcings, the authors were able to quantify in detail the pathways and timescales with which the shadow zone exchanges water with the surface ocean.

    “Our analyses allowed us to come up with a new schematic of the large-scale deep circulation in the Pacific. We find that diffusive transport both along and across density surfaces plays a leading role in ventilating the shadow zone.”

    Contrary to the widely held view that Pacific deep waters exclusively follow density surfaces to upwell in the Southern Ocean, the authors found that only about half of the water in the shadow zone follows this route, with the other half returning to the surface in low latitudes and in the subarctic Pacific, helping to explain the high biological production there.

    The scientists say this new understanding of the deep Pacific circulation and transport pathways will help interpret observed tracer distributions and biogeochemical processes.

    “An exciting direction for future research is to understand how the shadow zone, already low in oxygen and sensitive to increased oxygen demand, shapes the response of the ocean’s biological pump to climate change,” Holzer says.

    See the full article here .


    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    U NSW Campus

    The University of New South Wales is an Australian public university with its largest campus in the Sydney suburb of Kensington.

    Established in 1949, UNSW is a research university, ranked 44th in the world in the 2021 QS World University Rankings and 67th in the world in the 2021 Times Higher Education World University Rankings. UNSW is one of the founding members of the Group of Eight, a coalition of Australian research-intensive universities, and of Universitas 21, a global network of research universities. It has international exchange and research partnerships with over 200 universities around the world.

    According to the 2021 QS World University Rankings by Subject, UNSW is ranked top 20 in the world for Law, Accounting and Finance, and 1st in Australia for Mathematics, Engineering and Technology. UNSW also leads Australia in Medicine, where the median ATAR (Australian university entrance examination results) of its Medical School students is higher than any other Australian medical school. UNSW enrolls the highest number of Australia’s top 500 high school students academically, and produces more millionaire graduates than any other Australian university.

    The university comprises seven faculties, through which it offers bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees. The main campus is in the Sydney suburb of Kensington, 7 kilometres (4.3 mi) from the Sydney CBD. The creative arts faculty, UNSW Art & Design, is located in Paddington, and subcampuses are located in the Sydney CBD as well as several other suburbs, including Randwick and Coogee. Research stations are located throughout the state of New South Wales.

    The university’s second largest campus, known as UNSW Canberra at ADFA (formerly known as UNSW at ADFA), is situated in Canberra, in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT). ADFA is the military academy of the Australian Defense Force, and UNSW Canberra is the only national academic institution with a defense focus.

    Research centres

    The university has a number of purpose-built research facilities, including:

    UNSW Lowy Cancer Research Centre is Australia’s first facility bringing together researchers in childhood and adult cancers, as well as one of the country’s largest cancer-research facilities, housing up to 400 researchers.
    The Mark Wainwright Analytical Centre is a centre for the faculties of science, medicine, and engineering. It is used to study the structure and composition of biological, chemical, and physical materials.
    UNSW Canberra Cyber is a cyber-security research and teaching centre.
    The Sino-Australian Research Centre for Coastal Management (SARCCM) has a multidisciplinary focus, and works collaboratively with the Ocean University of China [中國海洋大學](CN) in coastal management research.

     
  • richardmitnick 8:14 am on May 12, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Opinion- Why we should use electric rather than hydrogen cars", , , University of New South Wales (AU)   

    From University of New South Wales (AU) : “Opinion- Why we should use electric rather than hydrogen cars” 

    U NSW bloc

    From University of New South Wales (AU)

    12 May 2021

    Graciela Metternicht
    Gail Broadbent

    Hydrogen cars are no economic panacea compared to plug-in electric vehicles.

    1
    There are many good reasons the future of cars should be electric. Photo: Shutterstock.

    Last night’s Federal Budget did not have any promising signals for encouraging uptake of electric vehicles, or to increase spending on installing the essential infrastructure needed to allay fears that motorists won’t be able to recharge on long trips away from home.

    The Federal government did allocate $5 million to creating an advanced manufacturing facility in South Australia to assemble electric vehicles, but this is a small allocation compared to the $200 million plus allocated to increase diesel fuel storage capacity.

    The Budget also does not appear to have allocated any funds to installing hydrogen fuel infrastructure either, but this may be a blessing.

    In last September’s Technology Roadmap, the government talked about the development of clean hydrogen, with its reliance on carbon capture and storage, rather than ‘green’ hydrogen produced from 100 per cent renewable electricity.

    A lot of countries are talking about developing hydrogen as some sort of economic saviour, Argentina and Chile among them, but at least their focus is green hydrogen.

    Hydrogen cars ‘no economic panacea’

    One use for hydrogen is to fuel a type of electric car, often termed fuel cell electric vehicles – but let’s just call them hydrogen cars.

    While there are no tail pipe emissions, transitioning to hydrogen cars may not be the economic panacea that might be hoped for in comparison to plug-in electric vehicles.

    Globally most hydrogen is made by steam reforming of methane or natural gas, where the chief by-product is carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases; the next most common method to obtain hydrogen is coal gasification, and globally only about four per cent is formed from water by electrolysis due to its expense.

    While hydrogen can be produced by electrolysis, there is no guarantee that the electricity is 100 per cent renewable energy.

    However, the biggest factor that impacts on the economics to use hydrogen cars is that to propel the car forward they use at least twice as much electricity per kilometre than plug-in electric vehicles and are relatively inefficient.

    And given that Australia does not have 100 per cent renewable energy, and quite large proportions of coal used to produce electricity, even if the hydrogen was produced by electrolysis of water, it isn’t going to be clean fuel.

    And given the inefficiency of the cars, using exclusively renewable energy to make the hydrogen isn’t the best use of that electricity.

    You would need to double the electricity generation to go the same distance.

    The additional expense of green hydrogen

    So, if all our passenger cars were electric it would be about 23 per cent of our electricity demand but if they were all hydrogen it would be double that.

    That’s a lot of additional expense to install enough renewable generation to produce the green hydrogen.

    Not only are the cars inefficient but hydrogen refilling stations almost non-existent in Australia, and the cost of installing the infrastructure is enormous.

    Transportation of hydrogen is difficult, although CSIRO is working on that problem and by all accounts the hydrogen has leakage problems during delivery.

    Conveniently, electric vehicles can be trickle charged from any household power point – no need to drive to a refuelling station to fill up.

    And this may give you another clue why oil companies such as Shell are promoting hydrogen vehicles as one form of cleaner transport.

    Fast chargers are cheaper than hydrogen filling stations

    But the cost to install enough hydrogen filling stations to satisfy the market would be higher than installing fast chargers at petrol stations.

    In Australia there are very few models of hydrogen cars available, and none for private sale, and are very expensive even compared to electric cars.

    With the inconvenience of limited refuelling opportunities perhaps hydrogen vehicles will become a niche product for specific tasks.

    However, consumer rationale when buying cars is complex.

    Not only are Californians abandoning hydrogen cars – currently they are the world’s market leaders, but some early buyers of electric vehicles are returning to fossil fuel cars as well.

    Research has shown that it is often due to electric vehicle recharging inconvenience, especially for those with limited range vehicles and no opportunity to recharge at or close to home.

    Hence the need to invest in public recharger networks around the country, not only for long distance trips but for people without off-street parking.

    The future is electric

    But at the moment nearly all of the big brand car manufacturers are going electric, even Toyota who have invested in research and development for hydrogen cars will be offering electric vehicles.

    VW, with its near-death experience following “dieselgate” learned from its mistakes, realised that the future is electric and is investing heavily.

    China has pursued the electric dream so aggressively it has hundreds of electric vehicle production companies and is at risk of a bubble bursting, so the government is considering taking measures to rein in the action.

    Another aspect to consider is fuel security.

    Geopolitical instability in our region is always a risk – and even innocent mistakes can affect countries reliant on imported oil.

    Australia imports some 90 per cent of its fuel needs spending about $30 billion in 2019-20, that’s money going offshore, not staying here to boost our local economy.

    Consider this: buy an electric car, install a photovoltaic system (electricity-generating solar panels) on your roof that is big enough for your household and transport needs (and remember a typical day’s travel for Australians uses less electricity than a pool pump) and you have zero emissions and are free of international forces that control our transport energy supplies.

    Australians are leading the world in domestic photovoltaic installations.

    And remember this, you can recharge an electric car from any household power point – just like a phone, but on wheels.

    See the full article here .


    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    U NSW Campus

    The University of New South Wales is an Australian public university with its largest campus in the Sydney suburb of Kensington.

    Established in 1949, UNSW is a research university, ranked 44th in the world in the 2021 QS World University Rankings and 67th in the world in the 2021 Times Higher Education World University Rankings. UNSW is one of the founding members of the Group of Eight, a coalition of Australian research-intensive universities, and of Universitas 21, a global network of research universities. It has international exchange and research partnerships with over 200 universities around the world.

    According to the 2021 QS World University Rankings by Subject, UNSW is ranked top 20 in the world for Law, Accounting and Finance, and 1st in Australia for Mathematics, Engineering and Technology. UNSW also leads Australia in Medicine, where the median ATAR (Australian university entrance examination results) of its Medical School students is higher than any other Australian medical school. UNSW enrolls the highest number of Australia’s top 500 high school students academically, and produces more millionaire graduates than any other Australian university.

    The university comprises seven faculties, through which it offers bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees. The main campus is in the Sydney suburb of Kensington, 7 kilometres (4.3 mi) from the Sydney CBD. The creative arts faculty, UNSW Art & Design, is located in Paddington, and subcampuses are located in the Sydney CBD as well as several other suburbs, including Randwick and Coogee. Research stations are located throughout the state of New South Wales.

    The university’s second largest campus, known as UNSW Canberra at ADFA (formerly known as UNSW at ADFA), is situated in Canberra, in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT). ADFA is the military academy of the Australian Defense Force, and UNSW Canberra is the only national academic institution with a defense focus.

    Research centres

    The university has a number of purpose-built research facilities, including:

    UNSW Lowy Cancer Research Centre is Australia’s first facility bringing together researchers in childhood and adult cancers, as well as one of the country’s largest cancer-research facilities, housing up to 400 researchers.
    The Mark Wainwright Analytical Centre is a centre for the faculties of science, medicine, and engineering. It is used to study the structure and composition of biological, chemical, and physical materials.
    UNSW Canberra Cyber is a cyber-security research and teaching centre.
    The Sino-Australian Research Centre for Coastal Management (SARCCM) has a multidisciplinary focus, and works collaboratively with the Ocean University of China [中國海洋大學](CN) in coastal management research.

     
  • richardmitnick 1:32 pm on April 28, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "The story of Earth and the question no scientist ever asked", amassing over 2000 trilobites or fossil arthropods (marine animals)., Dr Hazen described how the colours of Earth changed from its beginnings four and a half billion years ago when it was a black planet “covered in black basalt"., Dr Hazen has continued collecting, Hazenite is essentially microbial poop., If you can come up with a question that no one has ever thought to ask before you will be a great scientist., Nobody ever asked ‘what was the first mineral in the cosmos?’, Robert Hazen started collecting fossils and minerals and he realised they told a story., The most exciting thing in science is ‘I’ve got a question’., University of New South Wales (AU)   

    From University of New South Wales (AU) : “The story of Earth and the question no scientist ever asked” 

    U NSW bloc

    From University of New South Wales (AU)

    28 Apr 2021
    Diane Nazaroff

    The planet’s evolution and ‘microbial poop’ were just some of the wide ranging topics US mineralogist Dr Robert Hazen covered at the UNSW Centre for Ideas event last night.

    1
    Earth, seen here from the moon, has gone through 10 stages of mineral evolution, according to Dr Robert Hazen from Carnegie Institution for Science (US) of Washington’s Earth and Planets Laboratory. Credit: Shutterstock.

    When acclaimed US mineralogist Robert Hazen was a young boy, he always collected and organised things like stamps or coins. But then he started collecting fossils and minerals, and he realised they told a story.

    “That rock came from some place, it was born at some point, it evolved in certain ways … I became fascinated with those stories,” the Senior Staff Scientist at Carnegie Institution’s Geophysical Laboratory, and the Clarence Robinson Professor of Earth Sciences at George Mason University (US), said during a UNSW Sydney Centre for Ideas event last night.

    Dr Hazen was interviewed by Martin Van Kranendonk, who is Professor of Geology and Astrobiology at UNSW Sydney, and is the Director of the Australian Centre for Astrobiology.

    Prof. Van Kranendonk has also spent a large part of his life mapping rocks: specifically the ancient rocks of Australia, South Africa, and Greenland, and has shared this knowledge with geoscientists from around the world on his famous ‘Grand Tour’ fieldtrip across Western Australia, where he first met Robert Hazen in 2014.

    Dr Hazen told Prof. Van Kranendonk how his childhood rock collections sparked his interest for a career in geology and his research journey that led to one of the great stories in earth science, the idea of mineral evolution. The idea was sparked by a question at a 2006 Christmas party.

    “We think that life arose during this period of early Earth history called the Hadean,” he said.

    “And many people are postulating that clay minerals played an important role. And (a Professor friend) said ‘if clay minerals didn’t exist in the Hadean, then those hypotheses can’t be right’.

    “I had never heard anyone ask that question … Nobody ever asked ‘what was the first mineral in the cosmos?’.”

    Mineral evolution

    In 2008, he and seven co-authors wrote a journal paper which came up with the idea that the earth has gone through 10 stages of mineral evolution.

    “At each stage, some new process or event or characteristic came into play that change or altered the near surface, diversity and distribution of minerals,” Dr Hazen said.

    “The biggest punchline of that paper was that more than half of all minerals on Earth are a consequence of living systems,” he said.

    “Life changes Earth’s environment; every aspect of geology and hydrology and mineralogy is influenced in ways that we really hadn’t articulated before.”

    Dr Hazen described how the colours of Earth changed from its beginnings four and a half billion years ago, when it was a black planet “covered in black basalt, this heavy, dense rock with cracks of bright red incandescence as lava poured out of various fissures and volcanoes” to the land eventually turning green with “the evolution of green plants”.

    “These colour changes are emblematic of how amazing the evolution of our planet has been, how it’s gone through many stages, each one a consequence of what came before, each one leading to what comes next,” he said.

    Asked to explain how a carbon bearing rock came to be at the top of Mount Everest, he said continental masses and plates moving over a hundred million years could be responsible.

    “What you’re seeing is a limestone formed as part of a coral reef, much like the Great Barrier Reef … sometimes when two continental plates collide, they carry with them coastal zones with coral reefs. You start getting mountains forming then crumpling together, they start raising and pushing together.”

    Climate change

    He also discussed one of the world’s greatest uncertainties: climate change.

    “What humans are producing now by burning and producing (carbon dioxide) is 10, 20, 50 times more than the most active volcanoes that have been going on,” he said.

    “So we are suddenly tipping this whole process which was gradual, stately, well controlled, and we’re skewing it by burning all of this buried carbon that was locked in the rocks, it was sequestered. It wasn’t going anywhere. But when we burn coal, when we burn oil, when we burn natural gas, carbon that has been locked in the subsurface is suddenly brought back and put into the atmosphere very rapidly … The millions of years it took to make the coal that’s buried underground is being reversed in a matter of decades.”

    Dr Hazen was Executive Director of the Deep Carbon Observatory, a project set up to understand the chemical and biological roles of carbon in Earth, from 2009 to 2019.

    “The Deep Carbon Observatory was really a large scientific program that was designed to understand the hidden 90% of carbon in earth,” he said.

    “Many people for understandable reasons have studied carbon in the oceans, carbon in the atmosphere, carbon in the shallow crust where we mined it for coal and natural gas.

    “But there is a hidden carbon cycle that goes much deeper … carbon that may be present in the core of Earth, carbon that may be present in various sorts of minerals very far down in what’s called the lower mantle. And we had no idea. There was almost no one who had been studying this because it wasn’t the main topic.”

    2
    Dr Robert Hazen in the Pilbara. Image: Martin Van Kranendonk.

    The project was important to gauge how humans were impacting Earth.

    “You really have to know for sure how much carbon is coming out of volcanoes, how much carbon is being sequestered by weathering on Earth’s surface, how much carbon is going down in subduction zones, is the amount of carbon going down equal to the amount of carbon coming out, it could be more could be less, we didn’t know,” he said.

    The baseline, he said, was that humans “are just completely overwhelming every other aspect of the carbon cycle, that what we’re doing in the last century and a half, is just unprecedented in earth history … this is just scientific evidence that there is something fundamentally different about what we’re doing.”

    “Microbial poop”

    Prof. Van Kranendonk asked him about the mineral Hazenite, named after Dr Hazen and only found in Mono Lake, California.

    “It’s a hyper saline lake, it’s got a very high concentration of phosphorous and some other elements, so high in fact that when microbes live in this lake they can’t survive unless they adjust their internal chemistry,” Dr Hazen said.

    “One of the ways they do that is they excrete crystals, a crystal of an alkaline phosphate which is Hazenite. So Hazenite is essentially microbial poop.”

    Dr Hazen said he could have been a professional trumpet player.

    “What I realised very quickly was … you can be a very good musician on the side while doing science. But you can’t be a very good scientist on the side while doing music.”

    He described some of his great science teachers, and also lamented the decline of students’ interest in science in high school.

    Some science teachers don’t appreciate that the career is about asking questions, “it’s not about memorising answers”, he said.

    “You need to have mentors … who take students in hand and say ‘you’ve got great questions, let’s see if we can figure out an answer’.

    “The most exciting thing in science is ‘I’ve got a question’ … if you can come up with a question that no one has ever thought to ask before you will be a great scientist.”

    3
    500 million year old trilobites in a stone. Image: Shutterstock.

    Dr Hazen has continued collecting, amassing over 2000 trilobites or fossil arthropods (marine animals).

    The collection of almost 1000 different species from six continents has been donated to the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History (US).

    He said one of his life’s favourite moments was watching a young boy stare in awe at his collection in the museum.

    “That was me when I was a seven or eight year old, going to the museum, looking at the specimens,” he said.

    “What better way to pass it forward than to give something that might inspire another young person to become a scientist.”

    See the full article here .


    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    U NSW Campus

    Welcome to UNSW Australia (AU) (The University of New South Wales), one of Australia’s leading research and teaching universities. At UNSW, we take pride in the broad range and high quality of our teaching programs. Our teaching gains strength and currency from our research activities, strong industry links and our international nature; UNSW has a strong regional and global engagement.

    In developing new ideas and promoting lasting knowledge we are creating an academic environment where outstanding students and scholars from around the world can be inspired to excel in their programs of study and research. Partnerships with both local and global communities allow UNSW to share knowledge, debate and research outcomes. UNSW’s public events include concert performances, open days and public forums on issues such as the environment, healthcare and global politics. We encourage you to explore the UNSW website so you can find out more about what we do.

     
  • richardmitnick 7:16 pm on April 8, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Scientists shed more light on molecules linked to life on other planets", , , , Exopanet Research, , University of New South Wales (AU)   

    From University of New South Wales (AU) : “Scientists shed more light on molecules linked to life on other planets” 

    U NSW bloc

    From University of New South Wales (AU)

    09 Apr 2021
    Lachlan Gilbert

    1
    Phosphine detected in the atmosphere of Venus has scientists divided about whether or not it signifies primitive life on the planet. Credit: Shutterstock.

    The search for life on other planets has received a major boost after scientists revealed the spectral signatures of almost 1000 atmospheric molecules that may be involved in the production or consumption of phosphine, a study led by UNSW Sydney revealed.

    Scientists have long conjectured that phosphine – a chemical compound made of one phosphorous atom surrounded by three hydrogen atoms (PH3) – may indicate evidence of life if found in the atmospheres of small rocky planets like our own, where it is produced by the biological activity of bacteria.

    So when an international team of scientists last year claimed to have detected phosphine in the atmosphere of Venus, it raised the tantalising prospect of the first evidence of life on another planet – albeit the primitive, single-celled variety.

    But not everyone was convinced, with some scientists questioning whether the phosphine in Venus’s atmosphere was really produced by biological activity, or whether phosphine was detected at all.

    Now an international team, led by UNSW Sydney scientists, has made a key contribution to this and any future searches for life on other planets by demonstrating how an initial detection of a potential biosignature must be followed by searches for related molecules.

    In a paper published today in the journal Frontiers in Astronomy and Space Sciences, they described how the team used computer algorithms to produce a database of approximate infrared spectral barcodes for 958 molecular species containing phosphorous.

    2
    A diagram summarising the achievements of the research team. Image: UNSW.

    As UNSW School of Chemistry’s Dr Laura McKemmish explains, when scientists look for evidence of life on other planets, they don’t need to go into space, they can simply point a telescope at the planet in question.

    “To identify life on a planet, we need spectral data,” she says.

    “With the right spectral data, light from a planet can tell you what molecules are in the planet’s atmosphere.”

    Phosphorus is an essential element for life, yet up until now, she says, astronomers could only look for one polyatomic phosphorus-containing molecule, phosphine.

    “Phosphine is a very promising biosignature because it is only produced in tiny concentrations by natural processes. However, if we can’t trace how it is produced or consumed, we can’t answer the question of whether it is unusual chemistry or little green men who are producing phosphine on a planet,” says Dr McKemmish.

    To provide insight, Dr McKemmish brought together a large interdisciplinary team to understand how phosphorus behaves chemically, biologically and geologically and ask how this can be investigated remotely through atmospheric molecules alone.

    “What was great about this study is that it brought together scientists from disparate fields – chemistry, biology, geology – to address these fundamental questions around the search for life elsewhere that one field alone could not answer,” says astrobiologist and co-author on the study, Associate Professor Brendan Burns.

    Dr McKemmish continues: “At the start, we looked for which phosphorous-bearing molecules – what we called P-molecules – are most important in atmospheres but it turns out very little is known. So we decided to look at a large number of P-molecules that could be found in the gas-phase which would otherwise go undetected by telescopes sensitive to infrared light.”

    Barcode data for new molecular species are normally produced for one molecule at a time, Dr McKemmish says, a process that often takes years. But the team involved in this research used what she calls “high-throughput computational quantum chemistry” to predict the spectra of 958 molecules within only a couple of weeks.

    “Though this new dataset doesn’t yet have the accuracy to enable new detections, it can help prevent misassignments by highlighting the potential for multiple molecular species having similar spectral barcodes – for example, at low resolution with some telescopes, water and alcohol could be indistinguishable.

    “The data can also be used to rank how easy a molecule is to detect. For example, counter-intuitively, alien astronomers looking at Earth would find it much easier to detect 0.04% CO2 in our atmosphere than the 20% O2. This is because CO2 absorbs light much more strongly than O2 – this is actually what causes the greenhouse effect on Earth.”

    Life on exoplanets

    Regardless of the outcomes from the debate about the existence of phosphine in Venus’s atmosphere and the potential signs of life on the planet, this recent addition to the knowledge of what can be detected using telescopes will be important in the detection of potential signs of life on exoplanets – planets in other solar systems.

    “The only way we’re going to be able to look at exoplanets and see whether there’s life there is to use spectral data collected by telescopes – that is our one and only tool,” says Dr McKemmish.

    “Our paper provides a novel scientific approach to following up the detection of potential biosignatures and has relevance to the study of astrochemistry within and outside the Solar System,” says Dr McKemmish. “Further studies will rapidly improve the accuracy of the data and expand the range of molecules considered, paving the way for its use in future detections and identifications of molecules.”

    Fellow co-author and CSIRO astronomer Dr Chenoa Tremblay says the team’s contribution will be beneficial as more powerful telescopes come online in the near future.

    “This information has come at a critical time in astronomy,” she says.

    “A new infrared telescope called the James Web Space Telescope is due to launch later this year and it will be far more sensitive and cover more wavelengths than its predecessors like the Herschel Space Observatory.


    We will need this information at a very rapid rate to identify new molecules in the data.”

    She says although the team’s work was focused on the vibrational motions of molecules detected with telescopes sensitive to infrared light, they are currently working to extend the technique to the radio wavelengths as well.

    “This will be important for current and new telescopes like the upcoming Square Kilometre Array to be built in Western Australia.”

    See the full article here .


    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    UNSW Campus

    Welcome to University of New South Wales (AU), one of Australia’s leading research and teaching universities. At UNSW, we take pride in the broad range and high quality of our teaching programs. Our teaching gains strength and currency from our research activities, strong industry links and our international nature; UNSW has a strong regional and global engagement.

    In developing new ideas and promoting lasting knowledge we are creating an academic environment where outstanding students and scholars from around the world can be inspired to excel in their programs of study and research. Partnerships with both local and global communities allow UNSW to share knowledge, debate and research outcomes. UNSW’s public events include concert performances, open days and public forums on issues such as the environment, healthcare and global politics. We encourage you to explore the UNSW website so you can find out more about what we do.

    Established in 1949, UNSW is a research university, ranked 44th in the world in the 2021 QS World University Rankings and 67th in the world in the 2021 Times Higher Education World University Rankings. UNSW is one of the founding members of the Group of Eight, a coalition of Australian research-intensive universities, and of Universitas 21, a global network of research universities. It has international exchange and research partnerships with over 200 universities around the world.

    The university comprises seven faculties, through which it offers bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees. The main campus is in the Sydney suburb of Kensington, 7 kilometres (4.3 mi) from the Sydney CBD. The creative arts faculty, UNSW Art & Design, is located in Paddington, and subcampuses are located in the Sydney CBD as well as several other suburbs, including Randwick and Coogee. Research stations are located throughout the state of New South Wales.

    The university’s second largest campus, known as UNSW Canberra(AU) at ADFA, is situated in Canberra, in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT). ADFA is the military academy of the Australian Defence Force, and UNSW Camberra is the only national academic institution with a defence focus.

    Foundation

    The origins of the university can be traced to the Sydney Mechanics’ School of Arts established in 1833 and the Sydney Technical College established in 1878. These institutions were established to meet the growing demand for capabilities in new technologies as the New South Wales economy shifted from its pastoral base to industries fueled by the industrial age.

    The idea of founding the university originated from the crisis demands of World War II, during which the nation’s attention was drawn to the critical role that science and technology played in transforming an agricultural society into a modern and industrial one. The post-war Labor government of New South Wales recognised the increasing need to have a university specialized in training high-quality engineers and technology-related professionals in numbers beyond that of the capacity and characteristics of the existing University of Sydney. This led to the proposal to establish the Institute of Technology, submitted by the then-New South Wales Minister for Education Bob Heffron, accepted on 9 July 1946.

    The university, originally named the “New South Wales University of Technology”, gained its statutory status through the enactment of the New South Wales University of Technology Act 1949 (NSW) by the Parliament of New South Wales in Sydney in 1949.

    Early years

    In March 1948, classes commenced with a first intake of 46 students pursuing programs including civil engineering, mechanical engineering, mining engineering, and electrical engineering. At that time, the thesis programs were innovative. Each course embodied a specified and substantial period of practical training in the relevant industry. It was also unprecedented for tertiary institutions at that time to include compulsory instruction in humanities.

    Initially, the university operated from the inner Sydney Technical College city campus in Ultimo as a separate institution from the college. However, in 1951, the Parliament of New South Wales passed the New South Wales University of Technology (Construction) Act 1951 (NSW) to provide funding and allow buildings to be erected at the Kensington site where the university is now located.

    The lower campus area of the Kensington campus was vested in the university in two lots, in December 1952 and June 1954. The upper campus area was vested in the university in November 1959.

    Expansion

    In 1958, the university’s name was changed to the “University of New South Wales” reflecting a transformation from a technology-based institution to a generalist university. In 1960, the faculties of arts and medicine were established, with the faculty of law coming into being in 1971.

    The university’s first director was Arthur Denning (1949–1952), who made important contributions to founding the university. In 1953, he was replaced by Philip Baxter, who continued as vice-chancellor when this position’s title was changed in 1955. Baxter’s dynamic, if authoritarian, management was central to the university’s first 20 years. His visionary, but at times controversial, energies saw the university grow from a handful to 15,000 students by 1968. The new vice-chancellor, Rupert Myers (1969–1981), brought consolidation and an urbane management style to a period of expanding student numbers, demand for change in university style, and challenges of student unrest.

    In 1962 the academic book publishing company University of New South Wales Press was launched. Now an ACNC not-for-profit entity, it has three divisions: NewSouth Publishing (the publishing arm of the company), NewSouth Books (the sales, marketing and distribution part of the company), and the UNSW Bookshop, situated at the Kensington campus.

    The stabilizing techniques of the 1980s managed by the vice-chancellor, Michael Birt (1981–1992), provided a firm base for the energetic corporatism and campus enhancements pursued by the subsequent vice-chancellor, John Niland (1992–2002). The 1990s had the addition of fine arts to the university. The university established colleges in Newcastle (1951) and Wollongong (1961), which eventually became the University of Newcastle and the University of Wollongong in 1965 and 1975, respectively.

    The former St George Institute of Education (part of the short-lived Sydney College of Advanced Education) amalgamated with the university from 1 January 1990, resulting in the formation of a School of Teacher Education at the former SGIE campus at Oatley. A School of Sports and Leisure Studies and a School of Arts and Music Education were also subsequently based at St George. The campus was closed in 1999.

    Recent history

    In 2010 the Lowy Cancer Research Centre, Australia’s first facility to bring together researchers in childhood and adult cancer, costing $127 million, opened.

    In 2003, the university was invited by Singapore’s Economic Development Board to consider opening a campus there. Following a 2004 decision to proceed, the first phase of a planned $200 m campus opened in 2007. Students and staff were sent home and the campus closed after one semester following substantial financial losses.

    In 2008, it collaborated with two other universities in forming The Centre for Social Impact. In 2019, the university moved to a trimester timetable as part of UNSW’s 2025 Strategy. Under the trimester timetable, the study load changed from offering four subjects per 13-week semester, to three subjects per 10-week term. The change to trimesters has been widely criticised by staff and students as a money-making move, with little consideration as to the well-being of students.

    In 2012 UNSW Press celebrated its 50th anniversary and launched the UNSW Bragg Prize for Science Writing. The annual Best Australian Science Writing anthology contains the winning and shortlisted entries among a collection of the year’s best writing from Australian authors, journalists and scientists and is published annually in the NewSouth imprint under a different editorship. The UNSW Press Bragg Student Prize celebrates excellence in science writing by Australian high school students and is supported by the Copyright Agency Cultural Fund and UNSW Science.

    In the 2019 Student Experience Survey, the University of New South Wales recorded the lowest student satisfaction rating out of all Australian universities, with an overall satisfaction rating of 62.9, which was lower than the overall national average of 78.4. UNSW’s low student satisfaction numbers for 2019 was attributed to the university’s switch to a trimester system.

    On 15 July 2020, the university announced 493 job cuts and a 25 percent reduction in management due to the effects of COVID-19 and a $370 million budget shortfall.

    Research centres

    The university has a number of purpose-built research facilities, including:

    UNSW Lowy Cancer Research Centre is Australia’s first facility bringing together researchers in childhood and adult cancers, as well as one of the country’s largest cancer-research facilities, housing up to 400 researchers.
    The Mark Wainwright Analytical Centre is a centre for the faculties of science, medicine, and engineering. It is used to study the structure and composition of biological, chemical, and physical materials.
    UNSW Canberra Cyber is a cyber-security research and teaching centre.
    The Sino-Australian Research Centre for Coastal Management (SARCCM) has a multidisciplinary focus, and works collaboratively with the Ocean University of China [中國海洋大學; pinyin: Zhōngguó; Hǎiyáng Dàxué](CN) in coastal management research.

     
  • richardmitnick 1:14 pm on December 11, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Hot qubits made in Sydney break one of the biggest constraints to practical quantum computers", University of New South Wales (AU)   

    From University of New South Wales (AU): “Hot qubits made in Sydney break one of the biggest constraints to practical quantum computers” 

    U NSW bloc

    From University of New South Wales (AU)

    16 Apr 2020 [Missed the original, this is part of UNSW year end wrap up]

    A proof-of-concept published today in Nature [below] promises warmer, cheaper and more robust quantum computing. And it can be manufactured using conventional silicon chip foundries.

    1
    Dr Henry Yang and Professor Andrew Dzurak with a dilution refrigerator designed to keep qubits operating at extremely cold temperatures. Credit: UNSW Sydney.

    Most quantum computers being developed around the world will only work at fractions of a degree above absolute zero. That requires multi-million-dollar refrigeration and as soon as you plug them into conventional electronic circuits they’ll instantly overheat.

    But now researchers led by Professor Andrew Dzurak at UNSW Sydney have addressed this problem.

    “Our new results open a path from experimental devices to affordable quantum computers for real world business and government applications,” says Professor Dzurak.

    Getting warmer

    The researchers’ proof-of-concept quantum processor unit cell, on a silicon chip, works at 1.5 Kelvin – 15 times warmer than the main competing chip-based technology being developed by Google, IBM, and others, which uses superconducting qubits.

    “This is still very cold, but is a temperature that can be achieved using just a few thousand dollars’ worth of refrigeration, rather than the millions of dollars needed to cool chips to 0.1 Kelvin,” explains Dzurak.

    “While difficult to appreciate using our everyday concepts of temperature, this increase is extreme in the quantum world.”

    Quantum computers are expected to outperform conventional ones for a range of important problems, from precision drug-making to search algorithms. Designing one that can be manufactured and operated in a real-world setting, however, represents a major technical challenge.

    The UNSW researchers believe that they have overcome one of the hardest obstacles standing in the way of quantum computers becoming a reality.


    Hot Qubits: major quantum computing constraints overcome

    In a paper published in the journal Nature today, Dzurak’s team, together with collaborators in Canada, Finland and Japan, report a proof-of-concept quantum processor unit cell that, unlike most designs being explored worldwide, doesn’t need to operate at temperatures below one-tenth of one Kelvin.

    Dzurak’s team first announced their experimental results via the academic pre-print archive in February last year. Then, in October 2019, a group in the Netherlands led by a former post-doctoral researcher in Dzurak’s group, Menno Veldhorst, announced a similar result [Nature] using the same silicon technology developed at UNSW in 2014. The confirmation of this ‘hot qubit’ behaviour by two groups on opposite sides of the world has led to the two papers being published ‘back-to-back’ in the same issue of Nature today.

    Qubit pairs are the fundamental units of quantum computing. Like its classical computing analogue – the bit – each qubit characterises two states, a 0 or a 1, to create a binary code. Unlike a bit, however, it can manifest both states simultaneously, in what is known as a “superposition”.

    Cheaper and easier to integrate

    The unit cell developed by Dzurak’s team comprises two qubits confined in a pair of quantum dots embedded in silicon. The result, scaled up, can be manufactured using existing silicon chip factories, and would operate without the need for multi-million-dollar cooling. It would also be easier to integrate with conventional silicon chips, which will be needed to control the quantum processor.

    A quantum computer that is able to perform the complex calculations needed to design new medicines, for example, will require millions of qubit pairs, and is generally accepted to be at least a decade away. This need for millions of qubits presents a big challenge for designers.

    “Every qubit pair added to the system increases the total heat generated,” explains Dzurak, “and added heat leads to errors. That’s primarily why current designs need to be kept so close to absolute zero.”

    The prospect of maintaining quantum computers with enough qubits to be useful at temperatures much colder than deep space is daunting, expensive and pushes refrigeration technology to the limit.

    The UNSW team, however, have created an elegant solution to the problem, by initialising and “reading” the qubit pairs using electrons tunnelling between the two quantum dots.

    The proof-of-principle experiments were performed by Dr Henry Yang from the UNSW team, who Dzurak describes as a “brilliant experimentalist”.

    Team effort

    Other authors on the paper include Ross Leon, Jason Hwang (now at the University of Sydney), Andre Saraiva, Tuomo Tanttu, Wister Huang, Kok-Wai Chan and Fay Hudson, all from Professor Dzurak’s group, as well as long-time collaborators Dr Arne Laucht and Professor Andrea Morello from UNSW.

    Dr Kuan-Yen from Aalto University in Finland assisted the device fabrication team, while Professor Kohei Itoh from Keio University in Japan provided enriched silicon-28 wafers from which the devices were made. The qubit devices incorporated nano-scale magnets to help enable qubit operation, and these were designed with support from a team led by Professor Michel Pioro-Ladrière at Université de Sherbrooke in Canada, including his PhD student Julien Camirand Lemyre.

    See the full article here .


    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    U NSW Campus

    Welcome to UNSW Australia (AU) (The University of New South Wales), one of Australia’s leading research and teaching universities. At UNSW, we take pride in the broad range and high quality of our teaching programs. Our teaching gains strength and currency from our research activities, strong industry links and our international nature; UNSW has a strong regional and global engagement.

    In developing new ideas and promoting lasting knowledge we are creating an academic environment where outstanding students and scholars from around the world can be inspired to excel in their programs of study and research. Partnerships with both local and global communities allow UNSW to share knowledge, debate and research outcomes. UNSW’s public events include concert performances, open days and public forums on issues such as the environment, healthcare and global politics. We encourage you to explore the UNSW website so you can find out more about what we do.

     
  • richardmitnick 12:26 pm on December 1, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Hitting the quantum ‘sweet spot’- researchers find best position for atom qubits in silicon", , , University of New South Wales (AU)   

    From University of New South Wales (AU): “Hitting the quantum ‘sweet spot’- researchers find best position for atom qubits in silicon” 

    U NSW bloc

    From University of New South Wales (AU)

    01 Dec 2020
    Karen Viner-Smith
    CQC2T
    +61 2 9385 0147
    k.viner-smith@unsw.edu.au

    Isabelle Dubach
    Media and Content Manager
    +61 2 9065 3176, +61 432 307 244
    i.dubach@unsw.edu.au

    Australian researchers have found the ideal position for qubits in silicon – a development that will help them to scale up atom-based quantum computers.

    1
    Lead author Dr Benoit Voisin in the labs. Credit: CQC2T.

    Researchers from the Centre of Excellence for Quantum Computation and Communication Technology (CQC2T) working with Silicon Quantum Computing (SQC) have located the ‘sweet spot’ for positioning qubits in silicon to scale up atom-based quantum processors.

    Creating quantum bits, or qubits, by precisely placing phosphorus atoms in silicon – the method pioneered by CQC2T Director Professor Michelle Simmons – is a world-leading approach in the development of a silicon quantum computer.

    In the team’s research, published today in Nature Communications, precision placement has proven to be essential for developing robust interactions – or coupling – between qubits.

    “We’ve located the optimal position to create reproducible, strong and fast interactions between the qubits,” says Professor Sven Rogge, who led the research.

    “We need these robust interactions to engineer a multi-qubit processor and, ultimately, a useful quantum computer.”

    Two-qubit gates – the central building block of a quantum computer – use interactions between pairs of qubits to perform quantum operations. For atom qubits in silicon, previous research has suggested that for certain positions in the silicon crystal, interactions between the qubits contain an oscillatory component that could slow down the gate operations and make them difficult to control.

    “For almost two decades, the potential oscillatory nature of the interactions has been predicted to be a challenge for scale-up,” Prof. Rogge says.

    “Now, through novel measurements of the qubit interactions, we have developed a deep understanding of the nature of these oscillations and propose a strategy of precision placement to make the interaction between the qubits robust. This is a result that many believed was not possible.”

    2
    Atomic-scale image of two interacting donors in silicon. Credit: CQC2T.

    Finding the ‘sweet spot’ in crystal symmetries

    The researchers say they’ve now uncovered that exactly where you place the qubits is essential to creating strong and consistent interactions. This crucial insight has significant implications for the design of large-scale processors.

    “Silicon is an anisotropic crystal, which means that the direction the atoms are placed in can significantly influence the interactions between them,” says Dr Benoit Voisin, lead author of the research.

    “While we already knew about this anisotropy, no one had explored in detail how it could actually be used to mitigate the oscillating interaction strength.

    “We found that there is a special angle, or sweet spot, within a particular plane of the silicon crystal where the interaction between the qubits is most resilient. Importantly, this sweet spot is achievable using existing scanning tunnelling microscope (STM) lithography techniques developed at UNSW.

    “In the end, both the problem and its solution directly originate from crystal symmetries, so this is a nice twist.”

    Using an STM, the team are able to map out the atoms’ wave function in 2D images and identify their exact spatial location in the silicon crystal – first demonstrated in 2014 with research published in Nature Materials and advanced in a 2016 Nature Nanotechnology paper.

    In the latest research, the team used the same STM technique to observe atomic-scale details of the interactions between the coupled atom qubits.

    “Using our quantum state imaging technique, we could observe for the first time both the anisotropy in the wavefunction and the interference effect directly in the plane – this was the starting point to understand how this problem plays out,” says Dr Voisin.

    “We understood that we had to first work out the impact of each of these two ingredients separately, before looking at the full picture to solve the problem – this is how we could find this sweet spot, which is readily compatible with the atomic placement precision offered by our STM lithography technique.”

    Building a silicon quantum computer atom by atom

    UNSW scientists at CQC2T are leading the world in the race to build atom-based quantum computers in silicon. The researchers at CQC2T, and its related commercialisation company SQC, are the only team in the world that have the ability to see the exact position of their qubits in the solid state.

    In 2019, the Simmons group reached a major milestone in their precision placement approach – with the team first building the fastest two-qubit gate in silicon by placing two atom qubits close together, and then controllably observing and measuring their spin states in real-time. The research was published in Nature.

    Now, with the Rogge team’s latest advances, the researchers from CQC2T and SQC are positioned to use these interactions in larger scale systems for scalable processors.

    “Being able to observe and precisely place atoms in our silicon chips continues to provide a competitive advantage for fabricating quantum computers in silicon,” says Prof. Simmons.

    The combined Simmons, Rogge and Rahman teams are working with SQC to build the first useful, commercial quantum computer in silicon. Co-located with CQC2T on the UNSW Sydney campus, SQC’s goal is to build the highest quality, most stable quantum processor.

    See the full article here .


    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    U NSW Campus

    Welcome to UNSW Australia (AU) (The University of New South Wales), one of Australia’s leading research and teaching universities. At UNSW, we take pride in the broad range and high quality of our teaching programs. Our teaching gains strength and currency from our research activities, strong industry links and our international nature; UNSW has a strong regional and global engagement.

    In developing new ideas and promoting lasting knowledge we are creating an academic environment where outstanding students and scholars from around the world can be inspired to excel in their programs of study and research. Partnerships with both local and global communities allow UNSW to share knowledge, debate and research outcomes. UNSW’s public events include concert performances, open days and public forums on issues such as the environment, healthcare and global politics. We encourage you to explore the UNSW website so you can find out more about what we do.

     
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