Play your way into quantum computing

September 15, 2016 | 00:00
Play your way into quantum computing
Play your way into quantum computing
Quantum computers are still a dream of the future, but once they become reality they will be more powerful than all the computers of today together. At least that is what the scientists researching this field like to tell us. In Aarhus, Denmark, a team of researchers has proven theoretically that such a computer is possible, but, to put it mildly, there are some obstacles on the road to a practical implementation that have to be removed first. To find solutions the researchers have turned to a rather surprising technology: the human brain.

The problem to solve is simple enough to explain: Atoms, representing data, are kept in tiny cups (wells) and to do calculations they must be moved around. Displace atoms from one well to another without spilling is like moving a bowl of water without any of it going over the rim. Doing it slowly is safe but slow, doing it fast is risky. After trying out complicated algorithms on a supercomputer, to their great disappointment the researchers did not find satisfying solutions.

Then they came up with a new idea: why not make a game out of it and let humans find the solution? Humans are creative, especially compared to computers, and they are much better at solving difficult problems. Thus the game Quantum Moves was created and since then has been played over 300,000 times. You can play it too; it is available for Windows, OSX, Linux, Android and iOS.
 
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