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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.

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Quantum Theory

The Big Idea for Friday, January 25, 2013

Our deepest understanding of the atomic world comes from the advent of quantum theory. The theory itself underlies the entire architecture of the world we see today and beyond. It has ultimately allowed us to develop the most advanced technologies to make our lives easier. These marvels of science include the Internet, your cell phone, GPS, your email and HD television.

And yet, quantum theory is so eccentric and peculiar that even Einstein himself couldn’t wrap his head around it. The great physicist, Richard Feynman once stated that “It is impossible, absolutely impossible to explain it in any classical way”.

In the coming century, mastering the quantum theory will enable us to radically transform our world in ways previously thought unimaginable. Superconductors, for example, are a miracle of quantum physics and they are an outstanding example of us gradually becoming masters of matter itself.



  1. 1 I'm Baffled By Quantum Mechanics, and I'm Okay with That
    Ross Pomeroy Experts' Corner
  2. 2 What Dead Cats Tell Us About Parallel Universes
    Jim Kakalios
  3. 3 Quantum Levitation and the Science Fiction Imaginary
    Dominic Basulto Endless Innovation
  4. 4 How to Program a Quantum Computer
    Michio Kaku Dr. Kaku's Universe

Quantum Theory

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