Nav: Home

A quantum lab for everyone

September 16, 2015

Topical research experiments are often too expensive or too complex to be rebuilt and incorporated in teaching. How can one, nevertheless, make modern science accessible to the public? This challenge was tackled in the research group Quantum Nanophysics led by Markus Arndt at the University of Vienna. For the first time, two research laboratories were created as complete, photorealistic computer simulations allowing university and high-school students as well as the general public to virtually access unique instruments. "One could describe it as a flight simulator of quantum physics", says Mathias Tomandl who designed and implemented the essential elements of the simulation in the course of his PhD studies.

Discovering the quantum world - step by step

A learning path guides the visitors of the virtual quantum lab through the world of delocalized complex molecules. A series of lab tasks and essential background information on the experiments enable the visitors to gradually immerse into the quantum world. The engaging software was developed together with university and high-school students and was fine-tuned by periodic didactic input. The teaching concept and the accompanying studies have now been published in the renowned scientific journal Scientific Reports.

Wave-particle dualism with large molecules

The virtual laboratories provide an insight into the fundamental understanding and into the applications of quantum mechanics with macromolecules and nanoparticles. In recent years, the real-life versions of the experiments verified the wave-particle dualism with the most complex molecules to date. Now, everyone can conduct these experiments in the virtual lab for the first time.

The quantum lab on tour through Austria

Currrently, a light version of the virtual lab can be experienced as an interactive exhibit in the special exhibition "Das Wissen der Dinge" in the Natural History Museum Vienna. In the travelling exhibition "Wirkungswechsel" of the Science-Center-Netzwerk the exhibit will be available at various locations throughout Austria.

We acknowledge the support by the Vienna Business Agency ZIT (957475), the Austrian Science Fund FWF (Z149-N16 and WKP-16) and the European Research Council (ERC 320694).

Publication in Scientific Reports:

Simulated Interactive Research Experiments as Educational Tools for Advanced Science;
Mathias Tomandl, Thomas Mieling, Christiane M. Losert-Valiente Kroon, Martin Hopf & Markus Arndt. Scientific Reports 5, 14108 (2015)
doi: 10.1038/srep14108

Further information

Video - interactive quantum lab:

Special exhibition "Das Wissen der Dinge":

Travelling exhibition "Wirkungswechsel":

The University of Vienna, founded in 1365, is one of the oldest and largest universities in Europe. About 9,500 employees, 6,700 of who are academic employees, work at 19 faculties and centres. This makes the University of Vienna Austria's largest research and education institution. About 92,000 national and international students are currently enrolled at the University of Vienna. With more than 180 degree programmes, the University offers the most diverse range of studies in Austria. The University of Vienna is also a major provider of continuing education. In 2015, the Alma Mater Rudolphina Vindobonensis celebrates its 650th Anniversary.

University of Vienna

Related Quantum Physics Articles:

In atomic propellers, quantum phenomena can mimic everyday physics
In molecules there are certain groups of atoms that are able to rotate.
Testing quantum field theory in a quantum simulator
Quantum field theories are often hard to verify in experiments.
Diamonds coupled using quantum physics
Researchers at TU Wien have succeeded in coupling the specific defects in two such diamonds with one another.
Quantum physics offers insight into music expressivity
Scientists at Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) are bringing us closer to understanding the musical experience through a novel approach to analysing a common musical effect known as vibrato.
More than 100,000 people challenge Einstein in a unique worldwide quantum physics experiment
On Nov. 30, more than 100,000 people participated in the BIG Bell Test, a global experiment to test the laws of quantum physics.
Quantum physicist Carl M. Bender wins 2017 Dannie Heineman Prize for Mathematical Physics
The American Institute of Physics (AIP) and the American Physical Society (APS) announced today, on behalf of the Heineman Foundation for Research, Educational, Charitable, and Scientific Purposes, that Carl M.
USC quantum computing researchers reduce quantum information processing errors
USC Viterbi School of Engineering scientists found a new method to reduce the heating errors that have hindered quantum computing.
PPPL applies quantum theory and Einstein's special relativity to plasma physics issues
Researchers at the US Department of Energy's Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory have developed a theory of plasma waves that can infer these properties in greater detail than in standard approaches.
Quantum satellite device tests technology for global quantum network
Researchers at the National University of Singapore and University of Strathclyde, UK, report first data from a satellite that is testing technology for a global quantum network.
An experiment seeks to make quantum physics visible to the naked eye
Predictions from quantum physics have been confirmed by countless experiments, but no one has yet detected the quantum physical effect of entanglement directly with the naked eye.

Related Quantum Physics Reading:

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Climate Crisis
There's no greater threat to humanity than climate change. What can we do to stop the worst consequences? This hour, TED speakers explore how we can save our planet and whether we can do it in time. Guests include climate activist Greta Thunberg, chemical engineer Jennifer Wilcox, research scientist Sean Davis, food innovator Bruce Friedrich, and psychologist Per Espen Stoknes.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#527 Honey I CRISPR'd the Kids
This week we're coming to you from Awesome Con in Washington, D.C. There, host Bethany Brookshire led a panel of three amazing guests to talk about the promise and perils of CRISPR, and what happens now that CRISPR babies have (maybe?) been born. Featuring science writer Tina Saey, molecular biologist Anne Simon, and bioethicist Alan Regenberg. A Nobel Prize winner argues banning CRISPR babies won’t work Geneticists push for a 5-year global ban on gene-edited babies A CRISPR spin-off causes unintended typos in DNA News of the first gene-edited babies ignited a firestorm The researcher who created CRISPR twins defends...