As the start of our new series on humans in physics, I would like to give a personal opinion on the lack of (gender) diversity in the natural sciences and its connection to the very human phenomenon of “unconscious bias”. I wrote this article for celebrating “Diversity Day” in the quantum science research cluster in Munich.

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Focusing on the gender aspect of diversity, my field (condensed matter theory) is very male dominated, even compared to the Physics community as a whole. Most specialized conferences I have been to had less than 5% female attendance, often with only one or two…

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A friend of mine recently suggested a documentary to me about the mind’s healing power. Terrible pseudoscience all around, but it landed some nice points about stress. Nevertheless, I was horrified at how easy the word quantum was dropped, without any context, and any reason. And this is not an isolated event, I have seen this trend for some time. And I think that is not only a trend in the circles of pseudoscience. In science-fiction and superhero movies for instance, quantum jargon is used as mumbojumbo and plot devices, admittedly a whole more harmless way. …

An overview of the recent developments in quantum computing

Vienna, 12th of October, 2019:
Eliud Kipchoge became the first human to run a sub 2-hour marathon. Once believed to be unattainable, his time, 1:59:40, will not be officially recognized as a world record [1]. The reason for this is that the experiment to run 26.2 miles in under two hours was conducted under specific conditions which are not comparable to standard racing situations. Having an electric car and a team of 41 world-class runners in front of him, setting the pace, he broke “the last barrier of modern athletics”. …

I don’t think we have to tell you that the Universe is a very complex and huge place. But in case we actually do, here it is: the universe is bigger and more complex than the human mind can fathom. Think about our galaxy, with its millions of stars, which have their own solar systems with some planets and hundreds of asteroids and general debris. All of them attract each other gravitationally and modify the path that each other has,literally all the time! …

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Pictorial Quantum Simulation: Atoms are sitting in a lattice built up by standing light waves, ready to be used for studying the most intriguing questions of state of the art research.

Supercomputers are cornerstones of modern industry. They help to design complicated objects like aircraft, provide the handling of big data sets in AI, trade shares at stock exchanges and set the standards for today’s encryption. However, there exist highly complex problems involving the smallest building blocks of our world which cannot be solved on these supercomputers yet. One example of such a problem is understanding how the known building blocks of matter, atoms and molecules, interact with each other on a larger scale. Unraveling, for example, the biological properties of today’s drugs and how they emerge from its constituent molecules…

Transporting renewable energy to where it’s needed lies at the heart of the human endeavour to get rid of the need for fossil fuels. Superconductors can do so without loosing any of the precious electricity on the way, seemingly defying physical intuition. Find out in this article why many body physics is needed to understand their counter-intuitive behaviour, what role quantum entanglement plays and how quantum computation might lead to the discovery of materials which may give us the tools for a greener future.

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One of the oldest still existing rainforest in the world — Daintree at Cape Tribulation in Australia. It was the enourmous plant material produced in the forests of the Carbon age which got compressed to coal and oil
in the depths of the earth — and it is forests like this which are now endangered by global warming.

Dealing with climate change and the shortening fossil resources of our planet is one of the…

Things are about to get messy.

Give me a moment of your day, and let me put a picture in your mind. Imagine you and a friend have each a soup in a plate, and each soup has two carrot pieces, one potato and not so much broth. You are bored, it is a slow afternoon, so you decide to perform a little experiment.

You decide to probe the properties of the soup, and the best way to do this, assometimes it tends to be, is to run and pitch the soups against each other, as in a culinary mirrored…

A microscope is an essential instrument in the collective imaginary that surrounds science. But what do we scientists resort when normal techniques are not available? What do we do when we want to see into the smallest known systems, into atomic nuclei? This is where extreme microscopes are needed!

I remember the first time I saw a magnifying glass. I was absolutely fascinated by such an object. It allowed me to see so much more than I could normally (even then, when I could actually see something without glasses or contacts). It was the most amazing thing I had seen…

How quantum technologies enable uncrackably secure communication.

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In our modern computer world, being able to encrypt messages is not only necessary to keep some information secret from others, but is a key part of technologies such as cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. Furthermore, the scandals around widespread eavesdropping of intelligence agencies has shown the world that in fact none of the routines used today are really secure. But what if I told you that in ten years all communication will be secure because it is physically impossible to eavesdrop on communication encrypted by quantum cryptography?

Let’s take a few steps back and look at how cryptography on the internet…

How information can be teleported through the two most counter-intuitive properties of quantum mechanics.

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By SpaceX on Unsplash

We all know the quantum world is weird, but in no place does it become as weird as in the protocol allowing almost instant transportation of information from one place to the other termed “quantum teleportation”. That may sound like it’s impossible — but what if I tell you that this can even be done without the recipient of the information knowing? And that this technology is about to make communication absolutely eavesdrop-safe?

Quantum teleportation is about to make communication absolutely eavesdrop-safe

Before I can explain to you how teleportation works, I must first explain to you the two principles…

Many Body Physics

Complex (quantum) science explained by young researchers.

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