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Math & Technology

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QUANTUM BLACK BOX  The D-Wave Two quantum computer, seen here, solves problems with over 500 superconducting circuits called qubits chilled to 0.02 degrees Celsius above absolute zero.

Each pixel of a cellular automaton can be either white or black, corresponding to 0 or 1 as in the binary math used by digital computers. Applying simple rules can result in complex patterns. Cellular automata may offer the algorithmic power to mimic the laws of physics and the evolution of life.

A light sensor that looks like a pyramid keeps this robotic fly from tumbling out of the sky. It is the first time an onboard sensor has kept a fly-sized robot stable during flight. 

  • Numbers

    
    Context

    Scientists’ grasp of confidence intervals doesn’t inspire confidence

    Confidence intervals are often misrepresented and are commonly misunderstood, even by researchers.

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    Context

    If the world is a computer, life is an algorithm

    Cellular automata may offer the algorithmic power to mimic the laws of physics and the evolution of life.

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  • Computing

    
    Science Ticker

    Diffusion may keep big knots out of DNA

    A new computer simulation shows the way two knots on a strand of DNA could pass through each other without adding any additional snarls.

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  • Technology

    
    Science Ticker

    Robo-fly steadies flight with onboard sensor

    Scaling a robot to the size of a fly and stabilizing its flight with onboard sensors offers clues to how live insects stay steady in mid-air.

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