How human “computers” Annie Jump Cannon and Henrietta Swan Leavitt revolutionized astronomy

In the early 20th century, a team of “human computers” – women tasked with the grueling work of manually processing astronomical data – went far beyond their job descriptions, not to mention the social norms of the time, to revolutionize the ‘astronomy. The technological developments of the late 1800s were both a blessing and a … Read more

The digital future can count on optical electronics and ultra-fast computers

one hand holds a bundle of optical fibers between thumb and forefinger

If you’ve ever wished you had a faster phone, computer, or internet connection, you’ve come across the personal experience of reaching a technology limit. But there may be help on the way. Over the past few decades, scientists and engineers like myself have worked to develop faster transistors, the electronic components underpinning modern electronic and … Read more

NIST toggle switch can help quantum computers eliminate noise

A blue-tinted drawing shows a schematic of the two qubits and resonator above a white rectangle, representing the SQUID device that controls the connections and relationships between qubits and resonator elements.

This photo shows the central working area of ​​the device. In the lower section, the three large (blue) rectangles represent the two quantum bits, or qubits, to the left and right, and the resonator in the center. At the top, magnified, driving microwaves through the antenna (large dark blue rectangle at bottom) induces a magnetic … Read more