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Quantum on Quantum.

Science News (02/27/10) Vol. 177, No. 5, P. 28; Petit, Charles

Researchers at Harvard University and Australia’s University of Queensland have designed and constructed a quantum computer capable of simulating and calculating the behavior of a molecular quantum system. The two photons that function as qubits in a quantum device are entangled, meaning that their states are linked and consistent over distance, thus augmenting the quantum computer’s ability to explore all possible solutions to a complex problem at once. The researchers tasked the computer with calculating the energy levels of the hydrogen molecule. Through simulation of the quantum forces inherent in the electrons of atomic bonds themselves, the computer’s photons accurately nailed the energy levels to within 6 parts per million. This milestone is “great, a proof of principle, more evidence that [a quantum computer] is not pie in the sky or cannot be built,” says University of California, Berkeley professor Birgitta Whaley.

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What’s Next for High-Performance Computing?

UCSD News (02/24/10) Zverina, Jan

The fusion of high-performance computing (HPC) and high-performance data (HPD) could potentially result in the generation of robust systems that are at least one order of magnitude faster than anything the HPC community currently uses for certain applications, says San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC) interim director Michael Norman. Last November, SDSC announced plans to construct Gordon, a data-intensive supercomputer that is expected to read latency-bound files at 10 times the speed and efficiency of current HPC systems with the help of flash memory solid state drives. Ultimately, Gordon will possess 245 teraflops of total compute power, 64 TB of digital random access memory, and 256 TB of flash memory. Gordon also will assist in the integration of HPC and HPD because it is designed for data-intensive predictive science as well as data-mining applications.

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