Computer engineers study the mathematics of how to optimize complex systems. In one example, they face a logistics challenge known as the “travelling salesman problem:” how can a hypothetical salesperson visit every city on their route in the shortest distance?

The algorithms developed to answer these sorts of questions are useful in many situations, such as reducing the costs of and pollution from a fleet of delivery trucks. But when engineers tried to optimize traffic on the internet, they found their methods wanting. […]

Honeybees don’t study mathematics, but the demands of evolution reward those colonies that succeed in optimizing their resources. Fortunately, in the strange tale of how honeybees make the internet work, the scientists were smart enough to see that the honeybees knew better than they did.

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Hand gestures are one means of illustrating geological concepts, like the orientation of these fractures in 2.5-billion-year-old rocks in Dales Gorge, Hamersley Basin, Australia. A recent study showed that students master spatial concepts more quickly when they make concrete illustrations of their mental images and then receive immediate feedback on how closely these concepts mirror physical reality.

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Technique could be used to create quantum-information systems

 

Molecules” made from three photons have been created by physicists in the US. The photon triplets were made by firing laser light into an atomic gas and the researchers believe that their technique could be useful for creating entangled photons for quantum-information systems.

 

 

 

In this latest experiment a team led by Vuletić and Lukin observed both pairs and triplets of photons emerging from the atomic gas, rather than the random emission of single photons that would occur if molecules were not forming. They also measured the phase of the photon pairs and triplets and found this to be consistent with an attractive interaction. Indeed, the phase measurements revealed that the photon triplets were more strongly bound than the photon pairs.

Sourced through Scoop.it from: physicsworld.com

On any given day, there could be a half dozen autonomous cars mapping the same street corner in Silicon Valley. These cars, each from a different company, are all doing the same thing: building high-definition street maps, which may eventually serve as an on-board navigation guide for driverless vehicles. 

These companies converge where the law and weather are welcoming—or where they can get the most attention. For example, a flock of mapping vehicles congregates every year in the vicinity of the CES technology trade show, a hot spot for self-driving feats. “There probably have been 50 companies that mapped Las Vegas simply to do a CES drive,” said Chris McNally, an analyst with Evercore ISI. “It’s such a waste of resources.”

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