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Primeur weekly 2020-01-06

Focus

The LUMI supercomputer is not just a very fast supercomputer, it is first of all a competence development platform - Interview with Kimmo Koski, CSC, Finland ...

Quantum computing

ORNL researchers advance performance benchmark for quantum computers ...

In leap for quantum computing, silicon quantum bits establish a long-distance relationship ...

The Quantum Information Edge launches to accelerate quantum computing R&D ...

Focus on Europe

The coolest LEGO in the universe ...

Middleware

BP looks to ORNL and ADIOS to help rein in data ...

Hardware

New year brings new directory structure for OLCF's high-performance storage system ...

GIGABYTE brings AI, Cloud solutions and smart applications to CES 2020 to enable future today ...

During its final hours of operation, the Titan supercomputer simulated the birth of supernovae ...

Big iron afterlife: How ORNL's Titan supercomputer was recycled ...

Applications

Stanford researchers build a particle accelerator that fits on a chip ...

Brain-like functions emerging in a metallic nanowire network ...

Award-winning engineer helps keep US nuclear deterrent safe from radiation ...

New algorithm could mean more efficient, accurate equipment for Army ...

Paul Ginsparg named winner of the 2020 AIP Karl Compton Medal ...

'Super' simulations offer fresh insight into serotonin receptors ...

Researchers accelerate plasma turbulence simulations on Oak Ridge supercomputers to improve fusion design models ...

The coolest LEGO in the universe


The LEGO figure and block used in the experiment.
23 Dec 2019 Lancaster - For the first time, LEGO has been cooled to the lowest temperature possible in an experiment which reveals a new use for the popular toy - the development of quantum computing. A figure and four blocks were placed inside the most effective refrigerator in the world, capable of reaching 1,6 millidegrees above absolute zero (minus 273,15 Centigrade), which is about 200.000 times colder than room temperature and 2000 times colder than deep space.

Its special properties mean it could be useful in the development of quantum computing.

A world leading team of ultra-low temperature physicists at Lancaster University decided to place a LEGO figure and four LEGO blocks inside their record-breaking dilution refrigerator.

This machine - specially made at the University - is the most effective refrigerator in the world, capable of reaching 1,6 millidegrees above absolute zero (minus 273,15 Centigrade), which is about 200.000 times colder than room temperature and 2,000 times colder than deep space.

The results - published in the prestigious journal Scientific Reports - were surprising.

Dr. Dmitry Zmeev, who led the research team, stated: "Our results are significant because we found that the clamping arrangement between the LEGO blocks causes the LEGO structures to behave as an extremely good thermal insulator at cryogenic temperatures. This is very desirable for construction materials used for the design of future scientific equipment like dilution refrigerators."

Invented 50 years ago, the dilution refrigerator is at the centre of a global multi-billion dollar industry and is crucial to the work of modern experimental physics and engineering, including the development of quantum computers.

The use of ABS plastic structures, such as LEGO, instead of the solid materials currently in use, means that any future thermal insulator could be produced at a significantly reduced cost.

Researchers say the next step is to design and 3D print a new thermal insulator for the next generation of dilution refrigerators.

For the first time, LEGO has been cooled to the lowest temperature possible in an experiment which reveals a new use for the popular toy. Credit: Josh Chawner.

Source: Lancaster University

Back to Table of contents

Primeur weekly 2020-01-06

Focus

The LUMI supercomputer is not just a very fast supercomputer, it is first of all a competence development platform - Interview with Kimmo Koski, CSC, Finland ...

Quantum computing

ORNL researchers advance performance benchmark for quantum computers ...

In leap for quantum computing, silicon quantum bits establish a long-distance relationship ...

The Quantum Information Edge launches to accelerate quantum computing R&D ...

Focus on Europe

The coolest LEGO in the universe ...

Middleware

BP looks to ORNL and ADIOS to help rein in data ...

Hardware

New year brings new directory structure for OLCF's high-performance storage system ...

GIGABYTE brings AI, Cloud solutions and smart applications to CES 2020 to enable future today ...

During its final hours of operation, the Titan supercomputer simulated the birth of supernovae ...

Big iron afterlife: How ORNL's Titan supercomputer was recycled ...

Applications

Stanford researchers build a particle accelerator that fits on a chip ...

Brain-like functions emerging in a metallic nanowire network ...

Award-winning engineer helps keep US nuclear deterrent safe from radiation ...

New algorithm could mean more efficient, accurate equipment for Army ...

Paul Ginsparg named winner of the 2020 AIP Karl Compton Medal ...

'Super' simulations offer fresh insight into serotonin receptors ...

Researchers accelerate plasma turbulence simulations on Oak Ridge supercomputers to improve fusion design models ...