The scale of objects in our day-to-day experiences leads us to think about the world in terms of classical mechanics. But when we zoom in, it turns out that the particles that make up our world obey a different set of laws – the laws of quantum mechanics.
World Quantum Day (celebrated on April 14th) is an opportunity to recognise this fundamental role that quantum science plays in nature, and to highlight the crucial role emerging quantum technologies could come to play in our near future.
Trinity's Quantum Play showcase was organised by Felix Binder, Assistant Professor in Quantum Science at Trinity, and Magdalini Zonnios, a doctoral researcher in Trinity's School of Physics. It featured quantum-inspired versions of beloved classics like Bingo and Werewolf as well as introducing completely new games, like Quantum Wars, Quantum Zombies, and Hidden Parameters.
"Each of the games leveraged, by analogy, uniquely quantum phenomena like superposition – the ability of quantum systems to be in two states at once – and entanglement – the ability of quantum systems to exhibit non-local correlations. The event highlighted that these quantum properties are of fundamental importance to science, and illustrated that there are simple and fun ways to gain insight into them," explained Zonnios.
The creativity and expertise of the games’ developers was acknowledged via certificates and prizes which were distributed at the end of the event. The Overall Best Exhibit was awarded to the creators of the Quantum Zombies: a lively card game for four players which builds an intuition into how quantum states evolve under a sequence of transformations, akin to the logical building blocks of quantum computation.
Another highlight of the exhibit was the game Quantum Wars where two players face off against one another in an attempt to hit a moving target with a laser pulse. The game’s analogue of quantum tunnelling occurs when a player hits a bullseye on the adversary's target.
“The exhibits succeeded in igniting the curiosity of many undergraduate students, and inspiring questions about quantum science courses offered at Trinity, as well as about quantum science itself. The MSc students did an outstanding job conceiving and developing their exhibits. The School of Physics looks forward to running similar outreach events in the future to continue shining a light on the importance of fundamental science and the exceptional students and groundbreaking research at Trinity,” said Prof Binder.