|Developer(s)||AU Ideas Center for Community Driven Research, University of Aarhus|
|Operating system||Cross-platform: Windows, macOS, Linux|
|Type||Citizen scienceonline game, quantum physics|
|License||Proprietary freeware for academic and non-profit use|
Quantum Moves is an online citizen science simulation video game where players move quantum atoms. The game is part of the ScienceAtHome umbrella project, developed by AU Ideas Center for Community Driven Research (CODER). CODER aims to merge theoretical and experimental quantum research with online community efforts to explore the potential for online citizen science in this otherwise highly specialized field.
The objective of the game is to complete challenges that are simulations of logical operations in a quantum computer. The team behind the game are building a scalable quantum computer with a processor consisting of 300 atoms. Logical operations are performed by moving the atoms with optical tweezers. Moving atoms in a controlled way is a difficult task because the atom becomes excited and the atomic wave function delocalises. Approaching the presumed quantum speed limit is a huge challenge for quantum algorithms and the task that Quantum Moves players are asked to tackle.
In Quantum Moves, the atomic wave function is represented as a sloshy liquid in an energy potential well created by the optical tweezers. Players control the depth and the horizontal location of the well, simulating the path on the optical tweezers. The wave function reacts to changes in the potential function as dictated by the Schrödinger equation leading to sloshing seen by the players. Players are asked to move the well without sloshing the atomic wave function too much. A path created by a player maps one-to-one to a solution of the Schrödinger equation. Top results of the game play are then used to provide guidance into the algorithm’s search space, resulting in solutions superior to those found by the algorithm alone.
In 2012, the first version of the game was developed in the programming language MATLAB and tested in several high schools across Denmark. The feedback was positive, but there were many technical issues that made the interaction in the game cumbersome. In the summer of 2012, the game was translated into Java and the first version of Quantum Moves was released. Since then, Quantum Moves has been built in Unity multi-platform development engine and released in the App Store and Google Play for use in touch screen devices.
As of February 2017[update], Quantum Moves had been played over 8 million times by more than 200,000 players worldwide. In April 2016, the journal Nature published an article “Exploring the quantum speed limit with computer games”, detailing the analysis of one of the levels in Quantum Moves called BringHomeWater, and showing that players excel at solving the corresponding atomic transport problem.
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- Sørensen, J. J., Pedersen, M. K., Munch, M., Haikka, P., Jensen, J. H., Planke, T., . . . Sherson, J. F. (2016). Exploring the quantum speed limit with computer games. Nature, 532(7598), 210-213. doi:10.1038/nature17620