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In a Nature article published in March , the search giant set out ambitious plans to commercialise quantum technology in the next five years. Even that, however, was far from stable, as the system could only hold its quantum microstate for 90 microseconds, a record, but far from the times needed to make quantum computing practically viable. Where IBM has gone further than Google, however, is making quantum computers commercially available.

Since , it has offered researchers the chance to run experiments on a five-qubit quantum computer via the cloud and at the end of started making its qubit system available online too. But quantum computing is by no means a two-horse race. Californian startup Rigetti is focusing on the stability of its own systems rather than just the number of qubits and it could be the first to build a quantum computer that people can actually use.

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Francis Bacon and the scientific revolution

Intel, too, has skin in the game. In February the company announced that it had found a way of fabricating quantum chips from silicon, which would make it much easier to produce chips using existing manufacturing methods. Quantum computers operate on completely different principles to existing computers, which makes them really well suited to solving particular mathematical problems, like finding very large prime numbers. In July , Google engineers used a quantum device to simulate a hydrogen molecule for the first time, and since them IBM has managed to model the behaviour of even more complex molecules.

But the holy grail for quantum chemists is to be able to model the Haber-Bosch process — a way of artificially producing ammonia that is still relatively inefficient.

By Katia Moskvitch. By Amit Katwala. By Rowland Manthorpe.

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Inside the high-stakes race to make quantum computers work. The spurious, questionable science behind DNA testing kits.

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By Amit Katwala Genetics 30 May WIRED explains. However, learning institutions continued to preach the Aristotelian system and the Church reinforced the dependence on past authority, thus, to an extent, drowning out the spirit of inquiry and doubt. The Protestant Reformation, begun by Martin Luther in , radically transformed the theological and political landscape of Europe.

Many Europeans began to question the authority of the Church.

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Indeed, a large faction broke away from the Church, in doing so breaking free from the restriction of intellectual progress. The fierce censorship of the Church's response to the Reformation, the Counter- Reformation, further pushed people from the Catholic fold and appeared to many as foolishly protective of it's outdated doctrines.

In this atmosphere the Scientific Revolution blossomed, and the Aristotelian system fell. By breaking the hold of the Aristotelian system, the Scientific Revolution opened the door to modern science. Much of the work done during the latter sixteenth and seventeenth century is still considered the foundation of the major fields of modern science, including physics, chemistry, biology, and astronomy.

The Scientific Revolution left the world with a more logical description of physics, in which the laws of motion and gravity were well understood, setting the stage for many future breakthroughs and inventions.

Empedocles | Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy

In the field of biology, where much had been left to mysticism until the seventeenth century, thinkers of the Scientific Revolution made great strides, pushing understanding of the human body to unprecedented heights. Out of this knowledge sprung the advancement of prevention and treatment for illness, a field that grew markedly after the Scientific Revolution. Perhaps the largest advance of the Scientific Revolution occurred in astronomy. Fueled by better understanding of physics and math Isaac Newton's explanation of the motions of heavenly bodies relied heavily on his development of the mathematical field of calculus , astronomers unlocked the door to the universe.

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Born out of the Scientific Revolution was the Enlightenment , which applied the scientific method developed during the seventeenth century to human behavior and society during the eighteenth century. The Scientific Revolution influenced the development of the Enlightenment values of individualism because it demonstrated the power of the human mind.


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The ability of scientists to come to their own conclusions rather than deferring to instilled authority confirmed the capabilities and worth of the individual. The power of human beings to discern truth through reasoning influenced the development of the Enlightenment value of rationalism.

Such influences, combined with the decreasing reliance on the traditional teachings of the Church, led to a period of philosophical activity unparalleled in modern times.