Posted in | Quantum Physics

A Dialogue on Quantum Research and its Impact on the World

The world will become revolutionized by quantum technology in the near future.

Dr Sebastian Knauer and Milica Prokic with the illustration of Sebastian's research story at this year’s annual Bristol Quantum Information Technologies (BQIT) Conference. Credit: University of Bristol

This indeed calls for a timely discussion about quantum photonics technologies, concepts and engineering between quantum Scholars and Researchers across fields, artists and most importantly, the wider public.

This conversation should unfold in many inter-disciplinary dialects in order to allow it to move in an inclusive way.

The team at the University of Bristol’s Quantum Engineering Technology Labs (QET Labs) in association with Historian/Artist Milica Prokic is engaging in a conversation on quantum research, its impact on the world and its implications.

This on-going collaborative project started with a single illustration of a story on quantum entanglement, narrated by QET Labs’ PhD Student Imad Faruque to Milica.

Since then, the project continued to develop via conversations with several other QET Labs Researchers, whose narratives offered Milica with material for a number of illustrations.

The online platform Quantum in Conversation was developed as an invitation to the public to join in the conversation by building on these visuals and the archived correspondence and conversations with the Researchers.

The concept of a quantum graphic novel is considered to be latest development of the collaboration between Milica and the QET Labs team; all of this is extremely exciting for Milica.

I am an artist/historian, trained to think in ‘tangible’ terms, to work with tangible objects, and to study the past.  Interviewing a number of quantum scientists, who work on shaping the future of our world was absolutely fascinating. I came into the conversation knowing nothing about their field, so the challenge was twofold: to keep the lid on my own new-found quantum fascination, and to understand at least a glimpse of how it works.

Milica Prokic, Historian/ Artist

Dr Caroline Clark, QET Labs Centre Manager, said,“For our Students and Researchers, the challenge was to communicate their work entirely in layman’s terms. This kind of conversation is a very useful writing and communication exercise, as research papers written in a widely approachable style are often highly cited; I certainly hope that this will be another outcome of our conversations. Moreover, compelled to craft a simple, yet precise narrative about something so complex, our researchers proved to be gifted storytellers, coming up with all sorts of metaphors and references to explain complex scientific concepts. I look forward to the next stage of the project - a quantum graphic novel.”

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