“On Wednesday, researchers at the Joint Quantum Institute at the University of Maryland unveiled a first-of-its-kind fully programmable and reconfigurable quantum computer. The five-qubit machine, which is described in the journal Nature, represents a dramatic step toward general-purpose quantum computing—and, with it, an upending of what we can even consider to be computable.”
The long-standing puzzle to be solved is why we and everything we see is matter-made. More to the point, why does anything — matter or antimatter — exist at all? The reigning laws of particle physics, known as the Standard Model, treat matter and antimatter nearly equivalently, respecting (with one known exception) so-called charge-parity, or “CP,” symmetry: For every particle decay that produces, say, a negatively charged electron, the mirror-image decay yielding a positively charged antielectron occurs at
In a unique twist, this binary star system is exhibiting some brutal behaviour. Highly magnetic and spinning rapidly, AR Sco’s white dwarf accelerates electrons up to almost the speed of light. As these high energy particles whip through space, they release radiation in a lighthouse-like beam which lashes across the face of the cool red dwarf star, causing the entire system to brighten and fade dramatically every 1.97 minutes. These powerful pulses include radiation at radio frequencies, which has never been detected before from a white dwarf system.
“During such interplanetary travel, astronauts will be exposed to multiple sources of ionizing radiation, including galactic cosmic rays, solar particle events, and trapped radiation in the Van Allen belts,” claims the paper. For this reason, humans are going to need serious protection to not only survive the long journey to Mars but to also become a fully space-faring civilization that continues to extend our reach into the solar system.