“I guess no particular one other than an open mind and a natural curiosity to make sense of the plethora of things one can observe in nature.”

Does that apply to you, too? Read on and find out!

Quantum physics is one of the fundamental theories in our attempt to understand nature. It describes how light and matter actually behave; for example how atoms work, how they form solids and how light behaves on the level of individual photons.

In order to gain more insight about the world of quantum mechanics, we talked with Univ.Prof. DI Dr. Philip Walther, whose research lab, the Vienna Center for Quantum Science and Technology,  investigates innovative ways to use the quantum properties of light for secure computation or to store quantum information in nanomechanical solid state devices.

“At the same time we use these technologies to build experiments that explore the interface between quantum physics and gravity. This mix is unique – and incredibly exciting!”

We had the opportunity to speak with him about quantum logic, its appliance to everyday life and… the revolution it will trigger off in the world of game design.

Quantum logic today

The four facts everyone should know about quantum physics nowadays:

• The theory of quantum physics was developed more than 100 years ago through seminal works of Max Planck, Nils Bohr, Albert Einstein, Werner Heisenberg, Erwin Schrödinger, Wolfgang Pauli and many others.

• Quantum physics tells us how atoms work (why they are stable, why they form molecules, why they show spectral lines, etc.).

• In quantum physics an object can behave as if it was at two places at once. This is what Schrödinger’s cat is about.

• Quantum physics allows to process information in a much more efficient way than any classical computer.

The core of quantum logic is that an object can behave as if it were in two places at once. This introduces a radically new way of processing information: The idea is to encode classical information onto a quantum system, for example an atom, and to then process this information by using the laws of quantum physics.

“It is as if combinations of “zeros” and “ones”, of bits, can be processed simultaneously. You can imagine that this can be very powerful. Quantum logic allows one to describe this processing of “quantum information” – without having to go back to the Schrödinger equation every time.”

Modern chemistry, pharmacy, lasers: Those are only some of the numerous applications we owe to the discovery of quantum physics today. And there is much more yet to come.

How quantum logic will influence our life in the future?

Quantum logic shapes a new generation of technologies with revolutionary improvements in terms of capacity, sensitivity and speed. Since quantum systems are very fragile, they can be used for data protection, hence creating fundamentally new paradigms of safe network communication. What does that mean for you in specific? In case data surveillance and security are issues you are currently concerned about, you should know that thanks to quantum physics your everyday communication might be much more secure in the future.

Moreover, future quantum computers that can process logical “zeros” and “ones” simultaneously are expected to be able to solve problems that are unsolvable by the supercomputers of today in…a few minutes. This, in turn, will seed breakthroughs in the design of chemical processes, new materials and artificial intelligence. And even the world of game design has already been shaken by quantum logic.

How?

“Game design is an art in itself. It allows bringing abstract rules to life, observing and exploring their consequences. Applying this to the quantum world is particularly exciting, because many quantum phenomena defy our everyday intuition. The ability to hardwire quantum rules in a game and “play” with their consequences is a completely new way of building intuition for quantum phenomena. Everyone should be playing such games and start developing their own intuition for the laws and observable consequences of quantum physics. Maybe this is a way to come up with new “meta-rules” that we have not yet considered and that will allow us to do things similarly powerful than a quantum computer! “

Undoubtedly, with the advent of quantum logic, the way has been paved for a new adventure in the way we perceive, form and discover the world around us.
Are you ready?

Interview with Univ.Prof. DI Dr. Philip Walther from Vienna Center for Quantum Science and Technology