Curious Observer’s Living with Quantum Mechanics, and the Lucky #7 Conclusion

This piece is the conclusion to a 7-part series on exploring the quantum world in layperson’s terms. Well worth the effort if you are new to quantum computing and tangential topic areas. Because Quantum is Coming. Qubit

A curious observer’s guide to quantum mechanics, pt 7: The quantum century 

Read More…

+  So what does it mean to be technically literate when knowing quantum mechanics is a prerequisite for understanding our everyday technology? You have to understand that electrons move like waves to understand how a quantum dot in your TV works. Without quantum mechanics it makes no sense—there is no classical analog. As quantum devices become pervasive, an understanding of quantum mechanics will be required to make sense of our world. For people who do not know quantum mechanics, the answer to “How does X work?” will increasingly become “magic.”

One of the quietest revolutions of our current century has been the entry of quantum mechanics into our everyday technology. It used to be that quantum effects were confined to physics laboratories and delicate experiments. But modern technology increasingly relies on quantum mechanics for its basic operation, and the importance of quantum effects will only grow in the decades to come.

+  Perhaps there is a more hopeful answer. Maybe this is but a step on a long road. In the early 20th century, electronics was a new thing, understood only by specialists. Transistors were not invented until mid-century. Now, elementary school children wire up circuits and there are university departments dedicated to teaching it. We have learned how to teach electronics much more broadly as it has become a crucial part of our lives.

+  Today quantum mechanics is rarely taught outside the physics building. Most college students have never taken a course in quantum mechanics, and popular science videos and articles rarely discuss the gorgeous but advanced topics we explored in this article series. If we want a world where most people can understand the technology around them, we are going to have to figure out how to teach quantum mechanics more broadly.

Source:  ars TECHNICA.  Miguel F. Morales,  A curious observer’s guide to quantum mechanics, pt 7: The quantum century…

Content may have been edited for style and clarity. The “+” to the left of paragraphs or other statements indicates quoted material from “Source:” document. Boldface title is original title from “Source:” Italicized statements are directly quoted from “Source:” document. Image sources are indicated as applicable.