What is quantum computing and why does the future of Earth depend on it?

Computing power is reaching a crisis point. If we continue to follow a trend in place since computers were introduced, by 2040 we will not have the capability to power all of the machines in the world. Unless we can crack quantum computing.

Quantum computers promise faster speeds and stronger security than their classical counterpart and scientists have been striving to create a quantum computer for decades. But what is quantum computing and why have we not achieved it yet?

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This gecko-inspired robot could finally help us clean up space

The vacuum of space around Earth is not as desolate as you might think. Around 500,000 pieces of human-made debris orbit our planet every second, reaching speeds of up to 17,500 miles per hour.

This debris is a threat to satellites, space vehicles like the ISS and astronauts – and the problem is only likely to worsen as we continue to explore our galactic neighbourhood. Yet clearing this space junk is one the most difficult challenges facing astrophysicists.

Now, with inspiration from an incredible lizard, a robot has been designed to tackle this very problem.

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Scientists have created light a billion times brighter than the Sun

light one billion times brighter than the surface of the Sun has now been created in a lab, making it the brightest light ever produced on Earth.

The record-breaking laser beam has revealed new properties of light, and it could be used in medical equipment or to create more powerful computer chips.

A group of physicists from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln created the light by focusing a laser beam extremely intensely, bombarding a single electron with roughly 1,000 photons during each laser pulse. They then studied the properties of the light as it scattered from the electron.

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You can now send your loved one’s ashes into orbit on a SpaceX rocket

A company hoping to send people’s ashes into space has announced its next mission will be on board a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket.

Elysium Space is a San Francisco based startup self-proclaimed as a mix of funeral and space experts.

In 2015, the company attempted to send a cubesat into orbit on the maiden flight of the US Air Force Super Strypi rocket, but the launch failed. The company has announced today it hopes to use its partnership with SpaceX to send its first successful “memorial mission” on a SpaceX Falcon 9.

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Meet the robots going places humans cannot reach

For thousands of years, one tiny part of the world had remained shielded from human eyes, until a few years ago. A small machine was able to fit through a previously inaccessibly space, marking the start of a new era of robotics.

The small chamber in the Great Pyramid of Giza had been hidden from our view, but now robotic exploration is allowing us to virtually venture places we never considered going.

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This futuristic battery is powered by nitrogen

Despite various breakthroughs in battery technology, we still rely on tried-and-tested Li-ion, mainly because it’s cheap. In the hunt for an alternative that won’t break the bank, is more environmentally friendly and sustainable, researchers from China have discovered a way to generate power from nitrogen gas – one the most abundant gases in the world.

Nitrogen makes up almost 80 per cent of our atmosphere but nitrogen gas, which consists of two nitrogen atoms held together by a strong triple covalent bond, doesn’t break up easily under normal conditions. This makes it difficult to transfer the chemical energy of the bond into electricity.

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Uncertainty and opportunity: what Brexit means for fintech

Last month, the UK triggered Article 50, marking the start of our two-year divorce proceedings from the European Union. Since last June’s vote, the Pound has fluctuated, prices have increased and companies have threatened to relocate but the true consequences are yet to be realised.

Ahead of next month’s WIRED Moneyevent in London, we spoke to three leaders in the finance sector about their predictions for what a post-Article 50 future holds. Key concerns throughout our conversations included continued access to funding and talent, and what CEO of app-only bank Monzo, Tom Blomfield, calls “harmonised regulation”.

Read more on WIRED

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