A few years ago several of us were working on a manipulative for QKD. I felt that it needed to be something more than just writing numbers on paper or a simulation, but the students needed a hands-on activity. The first iterations of my idea came in the form of a folder with cardstock cutouts, but then I got the idea of using Scrabble tiles and it seemed to work quite well. Little did I know that someone many many years before had the same time of idea, but for a different concept. Nobel Prize Laureate Julian Schwinger had struggled to find ways to help his students understand quantum concepts in his graduate quantum course. Schwinger decided the traditional Newtonian Laws were not what his students needed so he jumped to the algebraic laws derived from the 1922 Stern-Gerlach experiment. Evidently one of his students, Papaliolios, designed some aluminum blocks, open on each end with a polarized filter inside. Shining light through the block, or a series of blocks, yielded one of two states: The light passed through or it didn't. WOW. Not only a clever method, but amazingly insightful pedagogical approach. Seems people have known for a long time that students, even graduate students, need help understanding quantum concepts.
"While Schwinger represented the atomic measurements of the Stern-Gerlach experiment as a matrix, Papaliolios represented the two states using the polarization of light. The quantum toys were equivalent to the magnetic field of the Stern-Gerlach experiment and to Schwinger’s matrix. By reordering, adding, or omitting blocks, you could see the unique characteristics of calculations made with matrices. For example, different combinations of blocks could produce the same outcome, illustrating that different matrix representations could lead to the same quantum mechanical behavior." Another interesting note, Papaliolios was involved in the Harvard Physics Project which was led by James Rutherford (a name you will also recognize). A project that shaped the way we teach physics today. For more information on the Harvard Physics Project, check out https://www.aip.org/history-programs/niels-bohr-library/ex-libris-universum/harvard-project-physics-role-history-science.
For a more detailed explanation of the Quantum Games, check out this article. https://spectrum.ieee.org/for-some-reason-these-quantum-mechanics-toys-didnt-catch-on
Yep, we are in the 2nd quantum revolution. Did you miss the first one? The first quantum revolution occurred nearly a century ago!! It led to the 20th-century technological revolution, which was based on the transistor, laser, and atomic clock which gave us computers, optical fiber communication, and the global positioning system. Even things we consider “life changing” […]
At a press conference on March 26, 2021, Biden said, “The future lies in who can, in fact, own the future as it relates to technology, quantum computing, a whole range of things, including in medical fields,” adding that he would focus on investing in “industries of the future.” A new bill The Endless Frontier […]
We are extremely excited to announce that the ITEST project, Preparing Secondary Teachers and Students for Quantum Information Science has been approved by the National Science Foundation. Over the course of 3 years the project will focus on preparing HS teachers to teach STEM through the lens of quantum mechanics. The project will include online […]
There have been some great workshops, sessions, and discussion over the past few weeks regarding the importance of quantum in our current and future environment. The reasons are numerous as to why we need to teach students K-12 about quantum, but do they all need to be quantum experts? No, but they do need to […]
We are partnering with Texas Section AAPT by providing 2 workshops (1.5 hrs each) on the Power of Quantum Computing (i.e. Deutsch-Jozsa Algorithm) and the Two Golden Rules of Quantum Mechanics. The Power of Quantum Computing workshop will use the concept of an interferometer to demonstrate this algorithm, showing the gain in efficiency from quantum […]
Q2Work hosted a workshop Feb. 24 at 12:30-4:00 pm Eastern Time/11:30-3:00 pm Central Time. This workshop, Systemic Change in QIS Education, was primarily aimed at people working on designing, implementing, and/or scaling quantum education programs. My role in the workshop was to share some of the efforts being made to increase awareness of quantum in […]
This Dear Colleague Letter (DCL) encourages submission of proposals for projects that will motivate and prepare students for quantum industries of the future. The National Science Foundation (NSF) is interested in preparation of students for quantum information science and engineering (QISE) at all levels and in all settings, both formal and informal.
We got exciting news today. Quantum for All has received Conference funding from National Science Foundation (NSF) to provide professional development for high school teachers in the area of quantum physics. The primary focus is integrating quantum concepts into current curriculum. Unfortunately, due to COVID-19, all face-to-face conferences are being pushed to July 2020… but […]
In December 2018, the National Quantum Initiative Act was signed into law by Donald Trump. The purpose of the Act was to ensure the continued leadership of the United States in quantum information science and its technology applications. It provided for a coordinated Federal program to accelerate quantum research and development for the economic and national […]