You might have heard the word quantum before in superhero movies or sci-fi adventures, but it’s actually a pretty simple concept! “Quantum” just means that some quantity (for example, energy) can only have discrete (quantized) values. This might mean that the value of the quantity could be 1 or 2 or 3, but it’s not allowed to be 1.5. You can think of quantized energy as individual packets of energy that can’t be broken down any further.
The weird rules of quantum mechanics are put to use in quantum computers, which can solve problems that normal computers have trouble with. When she was a graduate student, Urmila Mahadev found a way to prove that quantum computers are doing their job correctly.
Speaking of quantum computers, have you ever wanted to use one?? You can visit the Quantum Hub Mini Games arcade to play games that run on real quantum computers!