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  NASA getting computer that does quantum stuffMay 16, 2013 11:10 PM PDT | url
Added 2 new A* pages:I happened to spot some interesting science news on the BBC's site today, where they report that NASA will be getting a new supercomputer built by D-Wave Systems that uses quantum annealing, a quantum calculation method that takes advantage of the quantum mechanical behavior known as "quantum tunneling," which describes how quanta can just pop right through barriers. I can't make heads nor tails of the Wiki-science/math speak in Wikipedia's quantum annealing article, but annealing has something to do with finding the "lowest energy" solution to a problem very efficiently; anyway the BBC article says this new quantum computer "in one case" performed a certain operation 3,600 times faster than a conventional system, and it's got already Google and university researchers lining up to share time on the computer, so it must be pretty spiffy. Its quantum 512 qubit processor thingy *does* have to be cooled down to near absolute zero in a tool-shed sized housing in order to function, and it reportedly costs "up to" $15 million, so you probably won't be playing really awesome games on one of your own any time too soon...but if you can get into NASA's Ames Research Center starting this autumn, maybe you can sneak in a quantum game of video solitaire or something.
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