What is Big Think?  

We are Big Idea Hunters…

We live in a time of information abundance, which far too many of us see as information overload. With the sum total of human knowledge, past and present, at our fingertips, we’re faced with a crisis of attention: which ideas should we engage with, and why? Big Think is an evolving roadmap to the best thinking on the planet — the ideas that can help you think flexibly and act decisively in a multivariate world.

A word about Big Ideas and Themes — The architecture of Big Think

Big ideas are lenses for envisioning the future. Every article and video on bigthink.com and on our learning platforms is based on an emerging “big idea” that is significant, widely relevant, and actionable. We’re sifting the noise for the questions and insights that have the power to change all of our lives, for decades to come. For example, reverse-engineering is a big idea in that the concept is increasingly useful across multiple disciplines, from education to nanotechnology.

Themes are the seven broad umbrellas under which we organize the hundreds of big ideas that populate Big Think. They include New World Order, Earth and Beyond, 21st Century Living, Going Mental, Extreme Biology, Power and Influence, and Inventing the Future.

Big Think Features:

12,000+ Expert Videos


Browse videos featuring experts across a wide range of disciplines, from personal health to business leadership to neuroscience.

Watch videos

World Renowned Bloggers


Big Think’s contributors offer expert analysis of the big ideas behind the news.

Go to blogs

Big Think Edge


Big Think’s Edge learning platform for career mentorship and professional development provides engaging and actionable courses delivered by the people who are shaping our future.

Find out more

Why Banking Needs Quantum Physics

May 22, 2013, 12:00 AM

The universe is quantum. Physicists have known that for decades. Yet the economy remains as Newtonian today as when Sir Isaac Newton was the Master of the Royal Mint at the beginning of the 18th century. The time has come for a new and improved quantum economics: An economic system that is realistic.

The theoretical basis for quantum banking is an hypothesis first proposed by Erwin Schrödinger in 1935, called Schrödinger's cat. In this famous gedankenexperiment, a cat is put in a box with some poison which will or will not be released based on the outcome of a quantum event. Since quantum theory dictates that quantum events only have definite outcomes if they're observed, Schrödinger reasoned that the cat will remain both alive and dead as long as the box is kept closed. Quantum banking applies quantum phenomena in an analogous way to generate Schrödinger's cash.  

Next month I will establish the world's first quantum bank. The bank will be headquartered in Rockefeller Plaza, the global center of finance.

The Quantum Bank will have seven billion accounts – one for each person on the planet – and seven billion quantum dollars will be generated for each dollar deposited. The money will be deposited by a quantum event: the action of an alpha particle emitted by a uranium glass sphere imbedded in a microscopic grid of seven billion boxes. The coordinates of each box will correspond to one of the seven billion accounts. The box exited by the alpha particle will determine which account gets the cash.

Were the system being measured, the particle would pass through one box, putting the dollar in one account, providing the bank with one dollar in total assets. However by encasing the entire bank in metal so that no external measurement can be made, quantum uncertainty will prevail, much as it did for Schrödinger's cat. The alpha particle will not be constrained to pass through only one box. Because the particle is quantum, it will pass through all of them. In other words, all seven billion accounts will be credited. Anyone will be able to claim a free account, sharing as much of their wealth as they wish, or simply living off others' quantum deposits. Deposits will be accepted in any currency. All withdrawals will be in quantum banknotes – printed by the bank in golden ink – at a one-dollar-per-quantum exchange rate. These banknotes can be used wherever they are accepted, or they can be redeposited at the bank to generate even more quantum cash.

The Quantum Bank will open for business on Tuesday, June 11th. Crucially, it will be a paragon of ethical business. The banknotes will not derive their value from human uncertainty. Unlike most banks which are backed by faith, the Quantum Bank will be backed by physics. And the new economy that the Quantum Bank facilitates will subsist in a quantum-economic superposition. The world will never be poor again.

.   .   .

The Quantum Bank's prototype ATM will be open for transactions at Engineer's Office Gallery in New York City beginning at 1:00 pm on Tuesday, June 11, 2013, and running through June 14. The gallery is located in the basement hallway of 20 Rockefeller Plaza. Direct access is available during weekday business hours through the turnstiles at the 47-50 Rockefeller subway station. More information: www.engineersofficegallery.com


Why Banking Needs Quantum P...

Newsletter: Share: