Using Minecraft To Teach Quantum Physics To Kids

Working with Caltech and MinecraftEdu, Google has released a mod for the popular world-building game that provides insights into quantum behavior.

What's the Latest Development?


New from Google, qCraft is a modpack for the popular world-building game Minecraft that introduces players to some of the concepts behind quantum physics. The company's Quantum AI Lab team got together with MinecraftEdu -- the organization that brings the game into schools -- and Caltech's Institute for Quantum Information and Matter to create the software, which contains "new blocks that exhibit quantum entanglement, superposition, and observer dependency."

What's the Big Idea?

The team explained its motivation in a Google+ post: "We built the Quantum A.I. Lab to explore the potential of quantum computing, and figure out what questions we should be asking. One question is clear: Where will future quantum computer scientists come from? Our best guess: Minecraft." They admit that, as a simulation, qCraft isn't perfect, but it provides a new and more interactive way to learn what can be a fairly daunting subject. When it comes to recruiting future scientists, they may be on to something: The game has sold over 33 million copies on a variety of platforms, and a survey of 2,000 kids ages 6-16 found that 13 percent called Minecraft their favorite mobile game, more than twice the number of those who preferred Angry Birds.

Photo Credit: Flickr/kjarrett

Read it at The Guardian

LinkedIn meets Tinder in this mindful networking app

Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.

Getty Images
Sponsored
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.

No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.

Keep reading Show less

Can the keto diet help treat depression? Here’s what the science says so far

A growing body of research shows promising signs that the keto diet might be able to improve mental health.

Public Domain
Mind & Brain
  • The keto diet is known to be an effective tool for weight loss, however its effects on mental health remain largely unclear.
  • Recent studies suggests that the keto diet might be an effective tool for treating depression, and clearing up so-called "brain fog," though scientists caution more research is necessary before it can be recommended as a treatment.
  • Any experiments with the keto diet are best done in conjunction with a doctor, considering some people face problems when transitioning to the low-carb diet.
Keep reading Show less

Steven Pinker's 13 rules for writing better

The Harvard psychologist loves reading authors' rules for writing. Here are his own.

NEW YORK, NY - JULY 21: Steven Pinker speaks onstage during OZY Fest 2018 at Rumsey Playfield, Central Park on July 21, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Brad Barket/Getty Images for Ozy Media)
Personal Growth
  • Steven Pinker is many things: linguist, psychologist, optimist, Harvard professor, and author.
  • When it comes to writing, he's a student and a teacher.
  • Here's are his 13 rules for writing better, more simply, and more clearly.
Keep reading Show less

Want to age gracefully? A new study says live meaningfully

Thinking your life is worthwhile is correlated with a variety of positive outcomes.

YOSHIKAZU TSUNO/AFP/Getty Images
Surprising Science
  • A new study finds that adults who feel their lives are meaningful have better health and life outcomes.
  • Adults who felt their lives were worthwhile tended to be more social and had healthier habits.
  • The findings could be used to help improve the health of older adults.
Keep reading Show less