From quantum gateways to super-refrigerators – the quantum technology revolution arrives in Otaniemi
The Quantum Explorations (QuEx) will be on display in Dipoli, Otaniemi and open to all from 16 October to 15 November. The exhibition explores the current state and development of quantum technology, unpacks the central concepts of quantum physics, and showcases top research through engaging and fun examples. The exhibition will be officially opened during the European quantum technology summit on 17 October.
Visitors to the exhibition can explore works of art, demos, and videos, all of which give insights into the work of researchers and their partnering organisations. There are a total of six games on offer, each one relating to quantum physics and technology. For example, Hamsterwave (developed by Aalto University) and Qwiz (developed by MiTale and the University of Turku) both make use of the Quantum Black Box developed by University of Turku researchers.
One of the centrepieces of the exhibition is the interactive Quantum Garden artwork and game. Viewers of the piece are encouraged to interact with the artwork, to simulate a quantum random walker. The artwork helps the viewer visualise the principles of the models that underlie quantum computing and quantum biology.
‘Touching the springs numerically generates a particle in a quantum superposition, which then propagates through the Garden like a wave according to the Schrödinger equation. Here the brightness of the springs represent the probabilities of finding the particle and the player's objective is to locate the particle once again by touching the correct spring,’ explains researcher Laura Piispanen.
‘Games and gamified art have a lot to offer in the development of technology. New things don’t seem so frightening and rigid to people once they get to be part of the development process. In games and gamified art it is possible to come up with many creative solutions which can bring inspiration even to the researchers themselves’, explains researcher Annakaisa Kultima.
The organisers of the event, the National Centre of Excellence in Quantum Technology, (QTF) consists of ten internationally recognised research groups from Aalto University, the University of Turku and VTT. In addition to contributions from the university groups, the exhibition also features content from Bluefors, IQM and IBM. This allows visitors to explore the commercial technology being developed for quantum technology, like Bluefors’s super-refrigerator used in the development of quantum computers.
‘We believe it is our duty and responsibility not only to educate the new generation of researchers, but also to engage policy makers and the general public in the scientific discussion. This is also the aim of our exhibition Quantum Explorations, which gives a glimpse to the fascinating quantum technologies in an interactive and playful way, showcasing games & art created both for research and for education in Quantum Physics.’ explains Professor Sabrina Maniscalco from the University of Turku. ‘The strength of QTF is in our diversity; in our inclusiveness, open mindedness, and our traditions. At QTF, we support applied research which is close to commercialization, but we also support curiosity-driven research with the same level and strength.’
The Quantum Explorations exhibition aims to show the quantum revolution currently taking place in an accessible and understandable way. A key player in this revolution is the European Union’s Quantum Flagship, which was launched in October of 2018. The Quantum Flagship is one of the EU’s largest and most ambitious initiatives that currently involves the participation of over 2000 researchers from different universities and industry stakeholders. Coinciding with the inauguration of QuEx, on 17 and 18 October, the Exploring and Making Quantum Technology conference will be held in Helsinki, bringing together top quantum technology experts and different stakeholder representatives to discuss the current state and future prospects of quantum technology in Europe. It is being jointly organised by Aalto University, VTT the Technical Research Centre of Finland, the Academy of Finland and the Quantum Flagship as part of Finland’s Presidency of the EU.
The Quantum Explorations exhibition is funded by the Aalto University Centre for Quantum Engineering and the Dipoli Gallery and produced by Aalto University and the University of Turku. The exhibition is open during Dipoli’s normal opening hours, and the gaming room is open from Wednesday to Friday between 12:00 and 16:00. The exhibition is suitable for all ages. If you are bringing a large group, please make contact beforehand with the exhibition coordinator (Noora Heiskanen). More information about the event can be found here, and the Facebook page for the event is here.
About the Quantum Flagship
The Quantum Flagship was launched in 2018 as one of the largest and most ambitious research initiatives of the European Union. With a budget of at least €1 billion and a duration of 10 years, the flagship brings together research institutions, academia, industry, enterprises, and policy makers, in a joint and collaborative initiative on an unprecedented scale. The main objective of the flagship is to consolidate and expand European scientific leadership and excellence in this research area as well as to transfer quantum physics research from the lab to the market by means of commercial applications and disruptive technologies. With over 5000 researchers from academia and industry involved in this initiative throughout its lifetime, it aims to create the next generation of disruptive technologies that will impact Europe’s society, placing the region as a worldwide knowledge-based industry and technological leader in this field.