Databricks' TPC-DS benchmark results and the analytics platform wars

As data sources and volumes grow, and as a data-driven orientation is increasingly deemed to be a competitive necessity, the war between platform vendors to provide the primary repository for our data is intense. The war has several fronts, one of which is analytics. And within that scope, the data warehouse and data lake camps are the main combatants.
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AnyCubic Photon Mono X 6K review

We’re still a ways off from the replicators from Star Trek, but 3D printers have come on a long way in the last few years and the AnyCubic Photon Mono X 6K is a great example of what these devices can do. AnyCubic has been in the 3D printer...
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Imagination wins Linley Group 2021 Analysts' Choice Award

IMG CXT R3 GPU’s innovative architecture wins Best Processor IP Category Award. London, England - 24th January 2022 – Imagination Technologies' IMG CXT IP has been named the Best Processor IP in Linley Group’s 2021 Analysts’ Choice Awards. The flagship GPU features a unique PowerVR Photon ray tracing architecture, which delivers incredible performance for games and other graphical use cases. The award recognises this innovative architecture and its impact on markets including and beyond mobile gaming.

Nissan develops photon upconversion solids with outstanding performance

In collaboration with the Tokyo Institute of Technology, Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. has developed photon upconversion (UC) solid materials with outstanding performance that can improve the efficiency of artificial photosynthesis. By artificial photosynthesis, water is split into oxygen and hydrogen. The hydrogen is then reacted with CO2 to produce raw...

Metalenz PolarEyes uses polarised light to improve digital sensing

Tech has a new perspective and can combine numerous sorts of data that humans can’t see: lidar, infrared, ultrasonic, and so on. With its PolarEyes technology, Metalenz, a developer of incredibly tiny “2D” cameras for sophisticated sensing, intends to integrate polarised light into the mix for security and safety.

Photon-Counting CT Scanner Helps Doctors See Clearly

A next-generation CT scanner at Duke Health provides patients with a life-saving technology not available in the past. One of only four available in North America, this photon-counting CT scanner is considered a milestone in medical imaging advancement. Not only does it produce significantly more detailed and specific images, it also exposes patients to a fraction of the radiation required for traditional CT scans.

ASU Planetarium Announces Spring Schedule

SAN ANGELO, TX  – The planetarium at Angelo State released its spring schedule. The planetarium shows will run on Mondays and Thursdays at 7 p.m. through May 5, with breaks for Spring Break and Easter. All the shows are open to the public with admission prices of $3 for adults and $2 for children, active military and senior citizens. ASU students, faculty and staff are admitted free. The spring planetarium shows will run as follows: Thursday, Jan. 20 - From Earth to the Universe Thursday, Jan. 27 - First & Farthest Monday, Jan. 31 - Stars: Powerhouses of the Universe Thursday, Feb.…
Physics World

‘Strange history’ of photons challenges our understanding of quantum interactions

A surprising property of how resonant photons interact with an absorbing medium has been uncovered by physicists in Canada. They say they have found that even photons passing straight through the medium energize atoms within it, causing atoms to spend nearly as much time in their excited states as those that have absorbed photons. They see their result as a challenge to theorists trying to describe how light interacts with matter quantum mechanically.

Xbox Game Pass Ultimate: the benefits of January 2022 (perks)

Each month, subscribers to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate benefit from free and special advantages thanks to their subscription and the perks are back for this beginning of the year 2022! Discover today the Xbox Game Pass Ultimate perks of January 2022 which will be available from January 5th but also the perks which are still available but will disappear shortly.
Physics World

Photonics innovation takes centre stage in San Francisco

Photonics West will once again bring delegates to the Moscone Center in San Francisco for its unique combination of scientific conferences, industry symposia and world-class technical exhibitions. For the first time in two years scientists and engineers will be gathering in San Francisco for Photonics West, the largest global event...

Rocket Lab acquires SolAero Holdings for $80M to boost space solar cell production

Buying SolAero, a 24-year-old, New Mexico-based company, means Rocket Lab now has another key supplier in-house for its satellite manufacturing. At the same time, having access to Rocket Lab’s resources will give SolAero the manufacturing capability needed to boost high-volume production and scale, meaning it can better supply other customers, too.

Laser Components USA Inc is bringing photonic solutions to light at SPIE Photonics West 2022

Laser Components USA Inc. will be exhibiting at the annual Photonics West show, sponsored by the Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE) and held at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, California, January 25-27, 2022. Laser Components is celebrating its 40th anniversary displaying a wide array of manufactured products including...

GHz-Pulsed Source of Entangled Photons for Reconfigurable Quantum Networks

Meritxell Cabrejo Ponce, André Luiz Marques Muniz, Philippe Ancsin, Christopher Spiess, Fabian Steinlechner. Entanglement is a universal resource in quantum networks, yet entangled photon sources are typically custom-made for a specific use case. Versatility, both in terms of state modulation and tunability of the temporal properties of the photons, is the key to flexible network architectures and cryptographic primitives that go beyond quantum key distribution. Here, we report on a flexible source design that produces high-quality entanglement in continuous-wave and GHz-rate-pulsed operation modes. Utilizing off-the-shelf optical components, our approach uses a fiber-based Sagnac loop to generate polarization-entangled photons at telecom wavelength with high efficiency and fidelities above 0.99. Phase modulation up to GHz before entangled state generation is also possible for fast entangled state switching. We show phase modulation at 100 MHz with an average fidelity of 0.95. Furthermore, the source 60 nm spectral bandwidth is entirely compatible with fully reconfigurable wavelength-multiplexed quantum networks.

Angelo State announces spring planetarium dates

SAN ANGELO, Texas — Starting Jan. 20, the Angelo State University Planetarium present 24 shows throughout its spring 2022 schedule. The shows will run Mondays and Thursdays at 7 p.m. through May 5, with breaks for Spring Break and Easter. All shows are open to the public with admission...

Synaptic connectivity to L2/3 of primary visual cortex measured by two-photon optogenetic stimulation

Understanding cortical microcircuits requires thorough measurement of physiological properties of synaptic connections formed within and between diverse subclasses of neurons. Towards this goal, we combined spatially precise optogenetic stimulation with multicellular recording to deeply characterize intralaminar and translaminar monosynaptic connections to supragranular (L2/3) neurons in the mouse visual cortex. The reliability and specificity of multiphoton optogenetic stimulation were measured across multiple Cre lines and measurements of connectivity were verified by comparison to paired recordings and targeted patching of optically identified presynaptic cells. With a focus on translaminar pathways, excitatory and inhibitory synaptic connections from genetically defined presynaptic populations were characterized by their relative abundance, spatial profiles, strength, and short-term dynamics. Consistent with the canonical cortical microcircuit, layer 4 excitatory neurons and interneurons within L2/3 represented the most common sources of input to L2/3 pyramidal cells. More surprisingly, we also observed strong excitatory connections from layer 5 intratelencephalic neurons and potent translaminar inhibition from multiple interneuron subclasses. The hybrid approach revealed convergence to and divergence from excitatory and inhibitory neurons within and across cortical layers. Divergent excitatory connections often spanned hundreds of microns of horizontal space. In contrast, divergent inhibitory connections were more frequently measured from postsynaptic targets near each other.

Photon recycling for more efficient perovskite solar cells

For metal halide perovskites to challenge well-established silicon-based photovoltaics, the former would need to approach the upper limit of photovoltaic efficiency, aka the Shockley–Queisser (SQ) limit, which is only possible if the solar cell is both a good light absorber and emitter. With the latest perovskite solar cells having achieved near-unity light absorption and efficient charge collection under short-circuit conditions, enhancing electroluminescence quantum efficiency is believed to be the final key to reducing voltage loss and reaching the SQ limit.

High-order Photonic Cavity Resonance Enabled 3D Structural Color

Hailong Liu, Hongtao Wang, Hao Wang, Jie Deng, Qifeng Ruan, Wang Zhang, Omar A. M. Abdelraouf, Noman Soo Seng Ang, Zhaogang Dong, Joel K. W. Yang, Hong Liu. It remains a challenge to directly print three-dimensional arbitrary shapes that exhibit structural colors at the micrometer scale. Woodpile photonic crystals (WPCs) fabricated via two-photon lithography (TPL) are promising as building blocks to produce 3D geometries that generate structural colors due to their ability to exhibit either omnidirectional or anisotropic photonic stopbands. However, existing approaches have focused on achieving structural colors when illuminating WPCs from the top, which necessitates print resolutions beyond the limit of commercial TPL and/or post-processing techniques. Here, we devised a new strategy to support high-order photonic cavity modes upon side-illumination on WPCs that surprisingly generate large reflectance peaks in the visible spectrum. Based on that, we demonstrate one-step printing of 3D photonic structural colors without requiring post-processing or subwavelength features. Vivid colors with reflectance peaks exhibiting a full width at half maximum of ~25 nm, a maximum reflectance of 50%, gamut of ~85% of sRGB, and large viewing angles, were achieved. In addition, we also demonstrated voxel-level manipulation and control of colors in arbitrary-shaped 3D objects constituted with WPCs as unit cells, which has great potential for applications in dynamic color displays, colorimetric sensing, anti-counterfeiting, and light-matter interaction platforms.

Twin-field quantum key distribution over 830-km fibre

Quantum key distribution (QKD) provides a promising solution for sharing information-theoretic secure keys between remote peers with physics-based protocols. According to the law of quantum physics, the photons carrying signals cannot be amplified or relayed via classical optical techniques to maintain quantum security. As a result, the transmission loss of the channel limits its achievable distance, and this has been a huge barrier towards building large-scale quantum-secure networks. Here we present an experimental QKD system that could tolerate a channel loss beyond 140"‰dB and obtain a secure distance of 833.8"‰km, setting a new record for fibre-based QKD. Furthermore, the optimized four-phase twin-field protocol and high-quality set-up make its secure key rate more than two orders of magnitude greater than previous records over similar distances. Our results mark a breakthrough towards building reliable and efficient terrestrial quantum-secure networks over a scale of 1,000"‰km.