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(generated from captions) level, is what we do it for. It probably saved my life and I'm very grateful for the life that I have after this.

Rebecca Baillie reporting. That's the program for tonight and the week. Tomorrow night you'll have your State editions of 7:30 and I'll be back with you on Monday. Thanks for watching. Goodnight.

E.Captions by CSI Australia

# Theme music

GRAHAM PHILLIPS: Ahead on Catalyst -
coal dust, the health fallout, and quantum computing,
the holy grail of calculations. Quantum physics is really about
the world of the very small. Things don't behave
the way that we expect.

MARK HORSTMAN: Australia is one of
the world's biggest coal exporters, second only to Indonesia.

The amount mined from
the Hunter region in New South Wales has almost tripled
in the last few decades, and it's likely to double
in the next. This is just one of 34 mines
throughout the Hunter region that funnel more than
200 million tonnes of coal through Newcastle every year. (Engine horn blares)

Giant caterpillars of black coal
are overwhelming residents. When we first came here,
you might get one coal train a day. Now you get them nonstop. People are concerned that
air pollution from coal industry is a deadly threat to public health. Particle pollution
is killing more Australians than motor vehicle accidents, and yet the government and
regulatory response to that problem just has been so slow in coming.

Although fine particles are too small
to be visible to the naked eye, their size does matter. The smaller the particles, the further they get into your body. Those go into your lungs
and can get trapped there, and actually,
under certain circumstances, can get into the bloodstream
and affect some people's health. That can cause respiratory problems,
heart disease, even cancer.

An average human hair,
about 70 microns wide, dwarfs fine particles. They're grouped by size into PM10, or
particulate matter up to 10 microns, PM2.5, about the size of bacteria,
and PM1, one micron or less.

Depending on what they're made of, fine particles can deliver
toxic chemicals deep into the body. There's no level of exposure
that's completely safe. A little bit of air pollution
does a little bit of damage, and more does more damage. (Pedestrian lights beep) For the larger particles, there's
a national air quality standard to protect public health. But, for the smaller particles that are potentially
more dangerous to our health, there's no standards at all. Well, the PM2.5
is an advisory level and... What does that mean?
That's a very interesting question. Our view, the EPA view, is that that advisory level
should become the standard. As chairman of the New South Wales
Environment Protection Authority, Barry Buffier is responsible
for maintaining air quality. One of the particulates
of real concern to us is PM2.5, which are the very small invisible
particles that you can't see but have most impact on health. In the Hunter, we've got five monitors
for 600,000 people. The whole of Sydney
has five monitors. The national safety standard for PM10
is that average daily concentrations in a cubic metre of air
should remain below 50 micrograms. For PM2.5, the daily limit
is 25 micrograms, but it's not yet recognised
as a national standard. PM1 is not monitored at all. Is there an intention
to put some legal limits on these levels of pollution? Well, that's not the way it
operates nationally, so... I think the short answer to that
is no.

In the Upper Hunter, the vast
majority of fine particles in the air come from mining coal
and burning it in power stations. Over the last decade, PM2.5 emissions
have more than doubled.

With mines almost surrounding
her dairy farm, Di Gee feels her family's health
is under siege. We've got the five kids, and our three youngest
are the ones that have the asthma. Courtney is the worst. She was born in '97 and that's when
we think the mining boom started.

We don't have asthma in our family. None of my family have asthma, and
neither does anyone on Paul's side. Court, have you done
your spirometry yet? Every day, for the past three years, Di has been tracking
Courtney's lung function.

(Blows)
What was your readings, Court? 370.

I like it whenever
we go on holidays, 'cause I hardly get sick
and I hardly need to use my puffer. Like, I've been hoping
to grow out of it by now, but I haven't. Yeah, and we've almost lost her
twice this year, her breathing has gone that bad. Yeah, I don't like it. The local GP in nearby Singleton
used to treat Courtney, but she's not the only case.

DR TUAN AU: I notice a few times when the dust monitor
read high pollutant. Couple of days later,
you tend to see more people with kids with asthma come in. Do you think there's
a correlation there? I think there's
some correlation there. There are so many asthma cases, he started his own research program
with volunteers. My theory is,
if you have some high pollution, then their lung function test
will deteriorate with time. Testing 680 children
in the Upper Hunter, he found the rate
of decreased lung function here was three times higher
than the national average.

I think someone better step up
to the plate, and take a bit more responsibility
for the health of our kids, because some of them
are going to be lucky to last at least 30 years old
at the rate they're going.

At the other end of the coal chain
is Newcastle...

..where a hundred trains thunder between the mines
and the port every day.

Right now, Newcastle is the
biggest coal port in the world. And if a fourth coal terminal
is built, the port would double its capacity.

JAMES WHELAN: We'd have an extra
hundred coal trains every day. This one's got probably 90 or
100 wagons to it, 100-tonne wagons, so they're not small trains.

The Coal Terminal Action Group
believes current particle levels
are too high, so they're doing their own research. We're living with this legacy
of pollution in Newcastle. Now is no time
to double that pollution. Now is the time to sort it out. This is one of the EPA's
three monitors in Newcastle that measure PM10 and PM2.5 levels at a school several hundred metres
from the rail line.

We're setting up our two sets
of Osiris equipment here, right on top of the EPA's
monitoring station, so that we know that the numbers
we're recording for PM10, PM2.5 are identical or as close
as possible to the EPA's. The EPA machine measures the concentrations of particles
from their mass to check compliance
with the national standard. In contrast, the Osiris machine
uses a different method that detects airborne particles
as they float through a laser.

Once calibrated,
the citizen scientists put their portable monitors
next to railway tracks, because they want to focus on the
trains and measure particle sizes that the EPA monitors don't. It has the advantage
of being able to give us four different particle fractions
concurrently. Simultaneously we're getting PM1,
the smallest particles, PM2.5, PM10 and TSP -
total suspended particulates. Their machine takes readings
automatically every second, along with temperature, humidity,
wind speed and direction. What we're aiming to get
is the signature of a coal train, so we can say with some confidence
exactly what happens in this air environment
as coal trains go by.

This is an industrial city, with fine particles
coming from many different sources. How much comes from the coal trains
themselves is in dispute. We need to keep things
in perspective. For the Lower Hunter, coal is not likely to be a
significant contributor to PM2.5.

Up to 2009, 12 years of sampling
at one Newcastle site found more than a third
of PM2.5 particles are wood smoke and sea salt,
a quarter from cars and trucks, and another quarter
from power stations and smelters. The remaining 14%
that could account for coal dust comes from soil
and industrial sources. So the maximum contribution
that coal could be making to particulate matter is 14%,
if it made up all of that. We've got a coal train
going by right now. While this is passing -
it's an empty coal train, and it'll have about hundred
carriages to it - we expect that the particle
pollution levels here will go - the PM10 levels - will rise from about seven or eight micrograms
per cubic metre, all the way up to maybe 100,
120 micrograms per cubic metre. While the monitor can't tell them
if the particles are coal dust, it does measure whether they're in
the very small size ranges that are risky for health.

We've been seeing plumes
of PM2.5 and of PM10 coming off the trains
as they go past, and the prevailing wind today
is carrying those down in the direction
of the childcare centre. So I think those kids
are being exposed. Yeah, I think if we were building
a childcare centre again, it should be another kilometre away
from the railway line. The community research
is advised by medical doctors, epidemiologists
and air pollution experts.

HOWARD BRIDGMAN: To be honest with
you, my personal opinion is that I'm more worried
about the diesel emissions, because it's burning process. And the diesel process then produces
fine particles and nitrogen oxides, which both, overseas, have been determined
to be an important health hazard. The diesel exhaust is mixed in with
whatever is coming off the wagons.

More than 30,000 people live within
500m of the rail corridor that brings coal
into the port of Newcastle. That's 20% of Newcastle's population with coal trains rolling
through their neighbourhoods. (Train clatters)

With no curfew,
the noise alone is relentless. (Train wheels shriek)

But for people with existing
heart or lung disease, bad dust days can literally
take their breath away. I suffered from heart failure and
I've got a lot of fluid in my lungs. I can't disperse it.
I'm on tablets for it. Now, on bad days, some days I've
got to go on oxygen of an afternoon, if I lie down and have a rest.

I've got to put the machine on. When the oxygen machine
was installed, we would were told that,
because of the way we live, adjacent to the coal line,
adjacent to the coal loader, that we had to clean it every week - instead of three kays away,
in a cleaner suburb, we'd only have to do it
once a month. ROWENA: Look at that delicious cake.
Wow. RICHARD: Coal dust pie. Parents raising young families
in the rail corridor worry about the health of their kids. Well, they cough at night
from time to time, but it's a bit hard to know. We've only, sort of,
ever lived here. So I don't know if that's normal
for children, or if it's just living here. That dust that's been found,
those particles, are they actually coal dust
or are they something else? That really hasn't been looked into. I think the community looks at, you
know, dust on their window sill, or on their mantelpiece, and says,
'That's coming from a coal train.' It probably is. We haven't
looked at that specifically. The EPA is setting up
a new research project in Newcastle to pinpoint the sources of PM2.5.

Analysing their chemical composition
is key to understanding their impact on health. CRAIG DALTON: The best kind
of health study is the kind that integrates
both human health data and toxicological exposure data, and information from studies
done elsewhere overseas, where they've been really
looking at this.

In the meantime,
community groups believe there are actions
that should be taken now. Just simply cover the coal trains. You can see that the stockpiles
are piled up above the line of the carriage. That needs to stop.
The dust comes off the top. It's very simple - just cover them.

Dust levels depend on the type
of coal and how dry it is. Coal stockpiles are watered
to keep dust down.

Wind tunnel research simulates
a wagon carrying coal at 72km/h for eight hours. It finds that spraying coal loads
with a polymer sealant is effective at stopping dust.

But trains are dusty
even when they're empty. FEE: The carriages that are used
here are bottom-opening carriages, and so that, through time,
doesn't actually seal properly. So it acts like a sieve
and actually drops coal the whole way along the corridor.

The community monitoring
runs into the night, when the background levels
of PM2.5 are lower. And then we're seeing
those lift dramatically - up to 25 micrograms per cubic metre. That contrast between the background
and the train's signature is exactly what we're looking for. And here's the first look
at what they found. A coal train has a particle signature with high initial spikes in PM10,
PM2.5 and PM1. Levels remain higher
than the background as the train passes. (Train clatters)

By comparison, this is
the typical pattern of particles from a passenger train.

These are early results
that need more analysis, and the debate continues.

BARRY: You don't discount anything
that the community does, or the input that they can provide. Come back and interview me
in three years' time, I might say, yeah,
all of our focus is on PM1.

The hope is we act in time
to make sure that public health is not a casualty of the coal rush.

GRAHAM PHILLIPS: These guys
are part of a global race.

It's been running
for over a decade...

..to build a mythical machine,
the holy grail of calculations - a quantum computer.

Remarkably, first-generation quantum
computers have started to appear. Indeed, earlier this year,
Google bought one.

The D-Wave 2. ERIC LADIZINSKY: The promise
of quantum computers is what would otherwise take you
a billion years, you could do in a few seconds,
and that's game-changing. But as impressive as the D-Wave 2 is, it can only solve
certain kinds of problems. The quantum computer
these guys are working on potentially has
very broad application. So the race is far from over.

Conventional computers
are built from silicon chips that have more than a billion
miniature transistors etched on them.

By cramming on ever more transistors, computers have been getting faster
and faster.

The problem is we can now squeeze
so many components on a chip, we just can't get any more on. We're starting to reach
the limits of that technology. Hence, the race to quantum.

Quantum physics is really about
the world of the very small. Things don't behave
the way that we expect.

For example, an electron can be
thought of as a kind of tiny magnet, but a magnet that points to the north
and the south at the same time.

Harnessing such
mind-bending phenomenon is what will give quantum computers
their speed.

So the quantum computer looks at all
possible solutions at the same time, and it gives you the right answer. So it works in parallel. It's that parallelism that you just
don't get with a classic computer, which really has to go
one after the other. So you're expected to get
a much greater increase in computational power. In classical computers, information is stored
as strings of zeros and ones. They're called 'bits'
and they're represented on the chip as tiny switches
that are either off or on. But the switch equivalence
in a quantum computer can be in two different states
at once - on and off at the same time. They're called 'qubits'.

Research teams here,
at the University of New South Wales, are working on a quantum computer
based around a silicon chip with a single phosphorus atom
embedded in it.

A single electron from that atom
serves as the qubit.

A very impressive-looking machine.
Yes. It's basically
a scanning tunnelling microscope. It's a piece of stainless steel with
all the air sucked out from inside, so it's an ultra-high vacuum. This machine is used to position the
phosphorus atom in the silicon chip. But first,
a single layer of hydrogen atoms must be added to the surface
of the silicon. Then the microscope tip comes down. So you're going to basically knock
off individual atoms with that tip. Yeah, that's correct. That tip, we use it to image
the atoms, see where they are, and then we'll apply a pulse above
each hydrogen atom and knock it off. And literally open up a hole
of exactly six atoms to let that phosphorus in. This is a world first. We're the only group in the world
that can do it, so it's really, you know,
atomic precision to get it in there. We find that it never behaves
the way we expect. So you have that beautiful sense
of trying to understand, right at the atomic level,
what's really happening. In this very sci-fi-looking lab another University of New South Wales
team is fabricating other components
needed by the quantum chip. Knights of the round table.
MAN: Indeed.

It's a clean room.

No dust particles allowed. When you're working down
at the atomic scale, a dust particle is like a boulder, so you have to be completely clean
when you come in here.

Also UV light interferes
with the chip-making process. So the lights here
have that yellowy colour because all the UV
has been filtered out. Around 100 labour-intensive steps
are performed in here to build the chip. One of them is patterning
a single electron transistor. This is the chip. So that's actually had the tiny
patterns where the metal will go to make the single
electron transistor. This has used the electron beam
with just a two-nanometre spot size to write these tiny features. That's tiny!
It's really tiny. And that transistor
is the transistor that will read out the state
of the spin on that atom. This is the culmination
of all that work in the clean room, a wonderful little chip there
mounted on a circuit board. It contains the qubit and transistor. The researchers have chosen a
phosphorus atom to make their qubit because phosphorus
has one extra electron compared to the surrounding silicon.

Now, that one electron
that's attached to the phosphorus, like every electron,
has what people call the spin. It doesn't mean it spins on itself, it's just an intrinsic
quantum mechanical property. It's essentially a magnetic dipole. It's like the tiny needle
of a compass.

To measure the spin,
the chip containing the qubit is placed inside this
superconducting magnet.

This large magnetic field
gives a different energy to the two possible
spin orientations. And, in another world first,
they can now detect and control the state of the phosphorus qubit
in the silicon chip. What you're looking at
is in real time at, you know, a thousand times per second rate at the quantum measurement
of a single electron spin. In real time, before your eyes.
That is amazing! So, I mean, an electron, a tiny...
infinitesimally small thing.Yes. And we're measuring the spin on that. You're just watching it
on the computer screen.

When the spike happens, it's because the electron has left
the phosphorus atom, and that can only happen
if the electron is pointing spin up. However, the universal quantum
computer these guys are developing still requires a lot of work.

Which is why, over in Canada, D-Wave has adopted
a very different type of machine.

ERIC: The model that we chose
is fundamentally more robust against environmental disturbance. It's simpler to realise
on realistic time frames for investors and all that
to build something useful sooner. This quantum computer works
in a very different way. The D-Wave uses electrical circuits with superconducting currents
running through them which produce magnetic fields. The circuits behave like magnets
and interact with each other. Finding the minimum energy state of a lot of interacting
quantum magnets - the mathematical structure of that is very similar to
a lot of really hard problems.

We've said, 'Let's build
a physical system that finds the answer
to a problem physically.' It's not changing the problem into
a bunch of mathematical equations and solving it with digital logic. It literally is asking what's
the best arrangement of these spins, these interacting spins. It just evolves to that arrangement
if we do it right.

But if it's a quantum computer,
why is it so huge, I hear you ask. That box is really to keep out
electromagnetic radiation. It's like wrapping your radio
in aluminium foil - you won't hear anything. So it's a big Faraday cage
or shield. So, for instance,
the chip down here, you know, it has a cover on top
of it, which is a radiation shield. This whole thing
will be under vacuum, so there's no air molecules
bounding into it. D-Wave's fast and furious approach
has meant they've actually got
a saleable prototype out there. The drawback
is its limited application. ERIC: It's not a general purpose
quantum computer. It's application specific. If you're trying to minimise the
risk of some financial portfolio, the mathematics are similar. If FedEx wants to find out, out of all the possible ways
we could route our trucks, how do you do it
to minimise fuel consumption. Those are all find the best of
a vast number of possible solutions. These are all examples
of optimisation problems. But, of course, there are many other
types of problems out there too. So, the race to build
a universal quantum computer is still very much on, and these guys in Australia
are front-runners.

When realised,
the universal quantum computer will solve in seconds problems
that a classical computer would've taken millennia
to figure out.

We really want to build kind of
a universal, large-scale
quantum computer with error correction that can solve
all the quantum algorithms that we know exist out there. Solving known problems,
like treating disease. A very important one is to simulate the way that atoms and molecules
are put together and connect. Actually designing new types
of molecules, perhaps drugs
for the pharmaceutical industry. And addressing problems
we're yet to even discover. ANDREA: What we are making is such
a completely different object that it's really hard to even
imagine what it would be good for.

The only purpose of telling you now
what we think it's going to used for is so that in ten years from now
I can listen to myself saying, 'Oh, why did I say that?' It's so blatantly wrong, you know?

Next week on Catalyst,
a special episode - do we live in a custom universe,
one finetuned so we can exist? To think about the universe, this massive, enormous,
expansive space with incredible number of stars
and planets, for us,
these little puny creatures?! Captions by CSI Australia

For more information
and extended interviews, please go to our website. Stay connected and follow us
on Facebook and Twitter, or subscribe to our YouTube channel.

This Program is Captioned Live.

Good evening. Virginia Haussegger with an ABC news update. The civil war in Syria has taken a dangerous new turn. In what the United Nations is describing as a 'serious escalation', an alleged chemical weapons attack has killed as many as 1,300 people. The Syrian government says it's not to blame. But the UN says it's not to blame. But the UN is demanding an investigation and demanding an investigation and France says there should be a military response if the allegations are confirmed. On the campaign trail today amid the name calling, Tony Abbott has promised the Liberal Abbott has promised the Liberal Party will no longer accept donations from tobacco companies. It comes after Kevin Rudd said a future Labor Government would ban all political parties from receiving donations parties from receiving donations from the tobacco industry. Queanbeyan the tobacco industry. Queanbeyan City Council has pulled down dozens of illegally placed election signs. illegally placed election signs. City by-laws prohibit signs on public property without the council's approval because they can distract drivers. The candidates will have to pay fines to get them back. AFL club presidents have sided with the presidents have sided with the league in its increasingly bitter dispute with Essendon Football Club. All 17 rival clubs have expressed support for the AFL's efforts to hold Essendon to account for its controversial supplements program. And in Canberra, mostly cloudy with some isolated showers. Four degrees overnight, reaching a high of only 12. Sydney 20, Melbourne 15, 12. Sydney 20, Melbourne 15, Adelaide 16. More news in an hour.

# Coming home
# Coming home baby now # You know I'm waiting here for you # I'm coming home now real soon # You've been gone
# Coming home baby now # You don't know
what I'm going through # I'm coming home, I know I'm overdue # Since you went away
# Expect me any day now # Real soon # I'm coming home
and never more to roam # Baby tell me you
# Baby I'm for sure # Coming home
# Coming home # I'm coming home
# Come on home. #

And how are you feeling towards
your mother? Which one?
Whoops, that was clumsy. Your adoptive mother. Margaret. Well, how do you think I feel? My whole life has been a lie because
she couldn't tell me the truth. She made me look like such an idiot. You really want to know how
I feel about her? I hate her. I wish that she was dead.
Mm. And how do you feel about that,
Margaret?

When did she come in? Oh! Mum! Don't cry! You know I didn't mean it. You know I would never say
how I feel in front of you. (Ringtone pings)

Hey, baby? What can I make with a G,
a Y and an H?

It's aitch, not haitch. How about 'unhygienic'? Yeah, missing
a few letters for that.

Hey, do I look OK?
Uh, yeah. I love the foaming at the mouth
look. No, the suit. Should I wear jeans? You look hot.
I don't want to look hot. I'm meeting my parents. Well, you can't help it because
you are a sexy little biatch. Ah! Who smacks really hard. I just don't want them to think
I'm stuck-up. Good luck with that! What is that supposed to mean?
Aitch, not haitch. That doesn't mean I'm stuck-up.
That just means that I'm right. You're a doctor, you drive a Beemer, you're off to see your therapist
this morning. She's an adoption transition
counsellor. Oh.
Anyway, I'm not going. What, since when?
Since she's just not really helping. All her clients are kids. They're just little kids, you know,
from overseas. I mean, I am a grown-up. I don't need a jelly bean
at the end of every session. You love jelly beans.
OK, fine! You're not the one that has to sit
there in front of a box of crayons in case you want to draw
your feelings. If you're going to make such a big
deal about it, I'll just go, alright? Could we just drop it?
Yes, we can.Good. Sorry for making such a big deal
out of it. Hey, Eddy. Mum, did you ring Nanny Margaret
about Friday night? The French Film Festival.
Yeah, you're not stuck-up. She wants to see the one
about the older man having an affair
with the younger woman. Well, that narrows it down, Eddy. Should I text her yes?
Um, no, no. Don't text her anything because
Friday night's... Friday's not good.