Our dream is to allow everyone to do real scientific research and contribute to science by playing games

HELP US BUILD ONE COMPUTER TO RULE THEM ALL

  

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THE STORY BEHIND "QUANTUM MOVES"


 

The game was born out of the dilemmas and questions the physics researchers
at Aarhus University confronted with when they took the challenge of building a 
quantum computer in the basement lab of the university.

Confident that human brain is able to do better than even the most advanced
computational machines available in the world, Jacob and his team decided to
create the "Quantum Moves" game and invite everyone to play and get
the chance to do front-line quantum physics research.

 

The idea behind the game is simple: every time you play, your mouse movements are simulating
the laser beams used in the real quantum lab to move the atoms onto the right pathways.

Your goal is to achieve the best scores in "QComp" and "Beat AI" labs, which translate the
most difficult scientific challenges, and thus help science make a step forward towards building a quantum computer.

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I understand
Cookie-Cutting Science - part 1
15 Aug 2014 11:03 - Alice

Behind the scenes In Quantum Moves you can control the atoms using a light tweezer consisting of an [ ... ]

Read more...
We needed a break... and now we're back!
29 Jul 2014 09:09 - Alice

Yes, we admit it... we've been distracted for a while and you haven't seen much of scienceathome lat [ ... ]

Read more...
Welcome Alice, our new Community Manager...
16 May 2014 06:45 - JustCinek

Eureka! We found the new Quantum Moves Community Manager! Well, the new Community Manager is (again [ ... ]

Read more...
Our new team - Beata
15 Aug 2014 11:02 - Alice

We posted an announcement for a sorely wanted community manager some time ago... And we found that  [ ... ]

Read more...
Summer Camp means Science Camp
29 Jul 2014 09:03 - Alice

On July 30th, 2014, we welcomed 30 high school students to Aarhus University for a three-hour lectur [ ... ]

Read more...
My last message for all Quantum Moves pl...
15 May 2014 05:07 - JustCinek

Dear all, My time as a Community Manager for Quantum Moves has come to an end, as it is the moment [ ... ]

Read more...
Other Articles

Behind the scenes

In Quantum Moves you can control the atoms using a light tweezer consisting of an ultra-focussed laser beam. As you see in the game, this creates the landscape on which the atom moves. For many application it would, however, be fantastic to be able to create even more complex landscapes. Then we could e.g. let the atom move around in a ring or enclose it in a box with steep sides.

For this purpose we need to work with a more sophisticated device than just the simple laser beam, which is really nothing more than a strongly focused laser pointer.

Nicolai

One way to create these complex landscapes for the atoms is with a so-called SLM, a spatial light modulator, in which a laser beam homogeneously illuminates an array of small mirrors which each can either be turned on or off. By turning the on and off in the appropriate pattern we can take any bitmap image and project this image onto the light. When we then send this light onto the atoms, they will experience exactly this landscape. 

 

About Nicolai

My name is Nicolai and I'm 23 years old. I have studied Physics at Aarhus University since the summer of 2011 and I'm now working on my bachelor project. When I was a kid I really wanted to be either a fighter pilot or study physics. It turned out that I grew 1 cm too much to fit into the cockpit of a fighter plane which made decision of studying physics easy. My family lives in Aarhus which is one of the reasons why I chose to study in Aarhus.

I decided to do an experimental bachelor project because I'm always thinking in terms of applicability. To me research is most interesting when the results could potentially make a difference for the everyman at some point. This is why I'm fascinated by the idea of a quantum computer and why I chose to do my bachelor project within the Texas Instruments.

In my spare time I run the physics department’s Friday Bar together with some fellow students. Running the Friday Bar takes a lot of time but it's a nice way to socialize with students and employees at the university after a week of hard work.

Our vision of a Texas Instruments starts with an array of atoms sitting in an optical lattice. In 2D, you could think of a chessboard with single atoms sitting on each square. Ideally you might like to start with a square array, with no vacancies in the structure, then you would know that when you come to manipulate an atom on one site it would be there!

The starting point

 In practice, things are a little bit more complicated. Real-life looks more a bit more like picture 1.

 What have cookie-cutters got to do with quantum computing?

One way to simplify things it to pick out a central region where there are always atoms and throw away the rest. My goal is to do this with light and for my bachelor project I'm building a Spatial Light Modulator (SLM) which will be able to project an image onto the atoms and trim away the edges  - just like a cookie cutter.

Isn’t building a SLM from scratch quite difficult?

In short, yes! That’s why our SLM is built by modifying a 'DLP LightCrafter' from Texas Instruments. The LightCrafter (LCr) is basically a small overhead projector, like you might find in conference rooms everywhere, and consists of a RGB LED ‘light engine’ and a DLP3000 WVGA Digital Micromirror Device (DMD).  We chose this one because it only cost $600, and allowed us to try out some ideas with little expenses.

Picture 1

Picture 2

It can be used as a functional projector as seen in picture 2.In the model I’m using, the DMD consists of 608x684 micro-mirrors. Each micro-mirror can be individually set between an on- and off-position and by setting the mirrors in the right configuration and illuminating them the LC

For this project the LCr's light engine can't be used because it only is used as a projector to project a picture on a white wall.} produces light with different wavelengths in the interval 420-700 nm. In the end the SLM should be able to manipulate rubidium atoms which is 'easily' done by using laser light with a wavelength around 780 nm.

This means that the LEDs have to be removed so that we have access to the DMD. We can then illuminate the mirrors with an external laser with the right wavelength.caption{The LightCrafter

It’s crucial that we can control the configuration of the micro-mirrors so that they can be set in an arbitrary pattern thus creating an arbitrary image which is used to manipulate the atoms.  In effect we want software control over every one of the 415872 mirrors!

Which is why I designed my project in a very specific way... what do I have planned? I will soon let you know...