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Researchers merged quantum optics with a treasure hunt

In The Photonic Trail exhibition, you can learn about photons, lasers, qubits, quantum superposition, and quantum entanglement in a world of mischievous fairies, ghost ships and rumbly dwarves. The exhibition is open in the premises of Otaniemi upper secondary school April 11 - May 2. You can also play the game online.
The Photonic Trail

One of the aims of InstituteQ, the national quantum institute, and the QPlayLearn platform developed by some of the institute’s researchers is to increase our understanding of the significance of quantum research and technologies in the society. Now QPlayLearn has created The Photonic Trail game in collaboration with Quantum Flytrap. The game introduces the basics concepts of quantum optics in a playful way, while also maintaining a high level of accuracy in the explanations.

The exhibition is open in the premises of Otaniemi upper secondary school April 11 - May 2, from Monday to Friday 8am - 4pm. The exhibition is in English, and it's suitable for secondary and upper secondary school students.

Quantum optics is the study of how light quanta, called photons, interact with atoms and molecules. But there is more than just physics in The Photonic Trail game. It is a combination of physics, fantasy storytelling and art.

The Photonic Trail is a treasure hunt with six missions covering the basics of quantum optics. In the exhibition, you can learn about photons, lasers, qubits, quantum superposition, and quantum entanglement in a world of mischievous fairies, ghost ships and rumbly dwarves.

In the game, players find themselves immersed in the Enchanted Realm, where their goal is to seek the Hilbert Spade, an ancient, magical artefact that kingdoms once warred over before it was hidden away. It's said that whoever wields the Hilbert Spade can travel anywhere in spacetime by simply digging a small hole in the ground. But only a Master of Light is worthy enough to attain this treasure.

In order to become such a Master, players must traverse the ancient Photonic Trail, overcoming obstacles along the way. The challenges come in the form of six missions, and to accomplish them players must conduct experiments in a virtual laboratory of quantum optics.

Each successful mission takes you one step closer to becoming a Master of Light, one step closer to finding and wielding the Hilbert Spade.

The exhibition is sponsored by Aalto University and the University of Helsinki, both part of InstituteQ, with support from Algorithmiq Oy. Read more at the QPlayLearn platform.

If you want to visit the exhibition with your class, please contact teacher Matti Heikkinen, [email protected], tel. 050 4024077.

Play the game online!

Credits

Artist: Sibel Kantola

Concept and Stories: Radha Pyari Sandhir

Development & Production: Caterina Foti, Rosario Maniscalco, Sabrina Maniscalco and the QPlayLearn team.

Contact information:

Caterina Foti

Postdoctoral Researcher
Caterina Foti

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