[Magazine] Scientific American. Vol. 294. No 4

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Physicists long suspected that a sudden rearrangement of the magnetic field heats the trapped particles, sending them shooting off in a flare, but observations needed to unravel the deeper details of that process were awaited. Helical trajectory magnetic fields in the solar atmosphere, ones that contain considerable magnetic field energy— the fuel of solar flares. This part of the story describes just some of the basic physics at work, which scientists have understood for many decades. The problem arises when one tries to explain exactly how all this magnetic field energy is converted into heat, accelerated particles and ejected material.

The particles live in a fluid known as a two-dimensional electron gas. Computing with Quantum Knots A machine based on bizarre particles called anyons that represents a calculation as a set of braids in spacetime might be a shortcut to practical quantum computation Q GEORGE RETSECK uantum computers promise to perform calculations be- By Graham P. Collins w w w. s c ia m . c o m lieved to be impossible for ordinary computers. Some of those calculations are of great real-world importance. For example, certain widely used encryption methods could be cracked given a computer capable of breaking a large number into its component factors within a reasonable length of time.

And killing more than 600,000 in poorer countries. Since the virus’s discovery some 30 years ago, researchers have unraveled many of its secrets, in the process realizing that only a vaccine is likely to curb it. Today, after many snafus and false starts, the race to find a vaccine is almost won: several rotavirus vaccines have now proved safe and effective. SCIENTIFIC A MERIC A N Studies from around the globe yielded similar results. What is more, they revealed that rotavirus was not only widespread but a major cause of death in the poorest nations.

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