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ArgonneLab454 karma

This is actually quite an interesting question.

Given the question’s phrasing, I think it is important to mention that quantum research has been already affecting us on the day-to-day, think of novel chip design, MRI machines, clock transitions for hyper-accurate time-keeping enabling GPS, etc.

However, to answer the question about the future, I would say I am the most excited about two things:

(i) quantum sensing and

(ii) quantum simulation.

On the sensing front, quantum sensors have been making their way into state-of-the art research, enabling things like novel navigation methodologies, detection of single proteins, and sensors incorporated in devices (think batteries) that allow you to optimize usage. Whereas on the quantum simulation side, the world is fundamentally quantum, as such, simulating quantum systems using quantum systems promises to speed up research into things such as drug discovery and neural networks.

Personally, I am looking forward to quantum computers tackling optimization problems, but I feel like that’s a bit further down the road.

ArgonneLab259 karma

Yes. I personally liked the idea that the movie brings everybody into the quantum world after the Ant-Man family shrinks down.

Scientifically, quantum mechanics describes things at a very small scale, like atom/electron scale. The movie also shows a few special properties which are unique in quantum physics, such as superposition (when Scott Lang saw a lot of versions of himself when he was in the quantum core).

ArgonneLab185 karma

We're pretty sure that he exists. We'll leave that one to philosophers to discuss.

ArgonneLab132 karma

In particle physics, we have one theory that describes all our understanding of all particles. We call it The Standard Model.

This theory allows the very precise calculation of how the muon interacts with a magnetic field. It turns out that all particles that exist contribute to this.

The (Fermilab Muon g-2) experiment measures this interaction very precisely. Our measurement, as did the predecessor, found that the measurement and the calculation from the theory probably don't agree. This means that the Standard Model is missing some particles or forces.

ArgonneLab120 karma

Honestly, this question pops into my mind from time to time.

One typically tries to avoid to ‘become death, the destroyer of worlds' in their day job. Given that things like ChatGPT are in the zeitgeist right now, I personally am always concerned about the idea of true quantum computation enabled optimization becoming the keystone of reaching the singularity.

While this might not be a bad thing, it’s definitely, by definition, a point of great change. The other scary thought that I have been playing around with is the meaning of reality. Given the various interpretations of quantum mechanics, there might be a significant effect on our fundamental understanding of what the universe, and our place in it is.