Scientific achievements of 2017
December 31, 2017 -- This year saw planetary scientists name a new type of cosmic object — a synestia – while a prototype device pulled water from dry air. Researchers at Harvard University create metallic hydrogen which acts like a superconductor while UCL reports evidence of the oldest forms of life on Earth.
Chemists at Harvard join forces with a synthetic biologist to create a bionic leaf. The device uses solar energy to power a cobalt phosphide catalyst that splits water into oxygen and hydrogen. Ralstonia eutropha bacteria feed on the hydrogen and convert carbon dioxide in the air into isopropanol fuel.
IBM Research makes quantum computing available to the public, providing access to a 20-qubit quantum computer from any desktop or mobile device via the cloud.
Unlike standard computer memory which uses a list of bits – zeros and ones – to represent one of two states at any given time, qubits (quantum bits) ignore traditional laws of physics, and all possible lists of zeros and ones can exist simultaneously.
The result is a 20-qubit quantum computer which can work more than one million times faster than a 20-bit digital computer
Finally, Patagotitan mayorum, the most massive ever dinosaur to walk on earth, is officially named in Argentina.