Quantum mechanics is a branch of physics dealing with the behaviour of matter and light at incredibly small scales, when the classical laws of physics no longer apply. Quantum computers, a current area of intense research, will revolutionize the future of computing. They will be able to solve problems that are currently too complex for any existing computer.
On 11th July, Oxford University hosted Quantum 101, in which a group of Year 9 students found out about some of the applications of quantum mechanics, including quantum code-breaking, superconducting magnets and wave particle-duality as well as meeting some of the researchers working at the forefront of this exciting area. The girls attended lectures, measured the wavelength of light, and used liquid nitrogen and a high temperature superconductor to demonstrate magnetic levitation. They also visited three different labs where they saw the complex equipment needed to carry out research in quantum physics. It was an inspiring and thought-provoking day, which gave the girls a real insight into the world of scientific research.