Elon Musk's Neuralink demo will probably take the cake for the most talked about tech story for August 2020. While it is important, it is certainly just one of many important advancements researchers and innovators from various fields had this past month.
Here are the top stories from the past month (in mostly chronological order), let's dive in:
A team of researchers affiliated with several institutions in China has developed a form of the board game Go using entangled photons. They have posted a paper to the arXiv preprint server describing their game and explaining why they believe their setup could be used as a baseline for creating other quantum-based games.
Access to clean, safe drinking water is a necessity that’s worryingly not being met in many parts of the world. A new study has used a material called a metal-organic framework (MOF) to filter pollutants out of seawater, generating large amounts of fresh water per day while using much less energy than other methods.
If we can harness it, quantum technology promises fantastic new possibilities. But first, scientists need to coax quantum systems to stay yoked for longer than a few millionths of a second. A team of scientists at the University of Chicago's Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering announced the discovery of a simple modification that allows quantum systems to stay operational—or "coherent"—10,000 times longer than before.
It generates images using a quarter of the data as traditional MRIs.
Though 5G—a next-generation speed upgrade to wireless networks—is scarcely up and running (and still nonexistent in many places) researchers are already working on what comes next. It lacks an official name, but they’re calling it 6G for the sake of simplicity (and hey, it’s tradition).
University College London | News
Working with two companies, Xtera and KDDI Research, the research team led by Dr Lidia Galdino (UCL Electronic & Electrical Engineering), achieved a data transmission rate of 178 terabits a second (178,000,000 megabits a second) – a speed at which it would be possible to download the entire Netflix library in less than a second.
If you weren’t already convinced the digital world is taking over, you probably are now.To keep the economy on life support as people stay home to stem the viral tide, we’ve been forced to digitize interactions at scale (for better and worse). Work, school, events, shopping, food, politics. The companies at the center of the digital universe are now powerhouses of the modern era—worth trillions and nearly impossible to avoid in daily life.
Aalto University researchers have developed a black silicon photodetector that has reached above 130% efficiency. Thus, for the first time, a photovoltaic device has exceeded the 100% limit, which has earlier been considered as the theoretical maximum for external quantum efficiency.
SpaceX just beat its own record by reusing a single Falcon first stage for the sixth time. The rocket was part of the company’s 11th Starlink mission, carrying 58 internet-beaming satellites, as well as three SkySats for private Earth imaging company Planet, into orbit. It took off at exactly 10:31 ET from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.
California company NDB says its nano-diamond batteries will absolutely upend the energy equation, acting like tiny nuclear generators. They will blow any energy density comparison out of the water, lasting anywhere from a decade to 28,000 years without ever needing a charge. They will offer higher power density than lithium-ion. They will be nigh-on indestructible and totally safe in an electric car crash.
Musk tweeted that his “V2” update will blow our minds. But how close is he to putting computer chips in them? In the mind of Elon Musk, the world’s thorniest problems become shockingly, wonderfully simple.