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NASA Experts Available For Interviews About Quantum Computing
November 12, 2013

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As of Nov. 13, 2013, NASA's Ames Research Center at Moffett Field in California’s Silicon Valley will begin facilitating news media interviews about its new quantum computing efforts.

In a partnership with Google and independent, nonprofit research corporation Universities Space Research Association (USRA), Ames has established the Quantum Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (QuAIL) at its NASA Advanced Supercomputing (NAS) facility. The laboratory houses a 512-qubit D-Wave Two™ quantum computer.

Quantum computing is based on quantum bits or qubits. Unlike traditional computers, in which bits must have a value of either zero or one, a qubit can represent a zero, a one, or both values simultaneously. NASA researchers speculate that for certain types of problems, the quantum properties of a qubit will allow them to effectively try all possible solutions at once, arriving at a better solution – giving either a more accurate result than a classical supercomputer, finding an answer faster or identifying a completely new answer current supercomputers cannot find.

NASA researchers will use this system to investigate quantum algorithms that might someday dramatically improve the agency's ability to solve difficult optimization problems in aeronautics, Earth and space sciences, and space exploration. Applications relevant to NASA include machine learning, pattern recognition, mission planning and scheduling, distributed navigation and coordination, and system diagnostics and anomaly detection.

Ames is an agency leader in high-performance computing. Its NAS facility provides an integrated high-end computing environment to enable NASA to improve aerospace technology, safely conduct human and robotic space exploration, and advance knowledge of Earth and the universe. NAS houses Pleiades, a petaflop-scale supercomputer, which is ranked among the most powerful systems in the world. Pleiades is used by scientists and engineers throughout the U.S. to support NASA missions.

Interested reporters may contact jessica.culler@nasa.gov to arrange telephone interviews.

From Nov. 18-21, reporters may also interview a NASA expert in person about Ames’ quantum computing and supercomputing research at the upcoming international Supercomputing Conference, SC13, in Denver. Interested reporters may contact jill.a.dunbar@nasa.gov to arrange interviews at the conference.

For more information about QuAIL, visit:

http://www.nas.nasa.gov/quantum/

For more information about NASA Ames, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/ames


Text issued as Ames media advisory M13-73

 

Jessica Culler
Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif.
650-604-4789
jessica.culler@nasa.gov

A dilution refrigerator in the quantum computer.
Image Credit: 
NASA Ames / John Hardman
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A dilution refrigerator in the quantum computer.
Inside the D-Wave Two (TM) quantum computer housed at the NASA Advanced Supercomputing (NAS) facility, this dilution refrigerator cools the 512-qubit Vesuvius (TM) processor to 20 millikelvin (near absolute zero)—more than 100 times colder than interstellar space.
Image Credit: 
NASA Ames / John Hardman
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Exterior of the D-Wave Two quantum computer installed at the NAS facility.
Exterior of the D-Wave Two quantum computer installed at the NAS facility.
Image Credit: 
NASA Ames / Nick Bonifas
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Page Last Updated: November 13th, 2013
Page Editor: Jessica Culler