Aalto University: Researchers merged quantum optics with a treasure hunt

In The Photonic Trail exhibition, you can learn about photons, lasers, qubits, quantum superposition, and quantum entanglement in a world of mischievous fairies, ghost ships and rumbly dwarves. The exhibition is opening its doors on Saturday March 5 at Mökki Galleria in Kaarina with a further aim to open an exhibition in the Helsinki region around Mid-April.


One of the aims of InstituteQ, the national quantum institute, and the QPlayLearn platform developed by some of the institute’s researchers is to increase our understanding of the significance of quantum research and technologies in the society. Now QPlayLearn has created The Photonic Trail game in collaboration with Quantum Flytrap. The game introduces the basics concepts of quantum optics in a playful way, while also maintaining a high level of accuracy in the explanations. The exhibition is opening its doors on Saturday March 5 at Mökki Galleria in Kaarina.

Quantum optics is the study of how light quanta, called photons, interact with atoms and molecules. But there is more than just physics in The Photonic Trail game. It is a combination of physics, fantasy storytelling and art.

The Photonic Trail is a treasure hunt with six missions covering the basics of quantum optics. In the exhibition, you can learn about photons, lasers, qubits, quantum superposition, and quantum entanglement in a world of mischievous fairies, ghost ships and rumbly dwarves.

In the game, players find themselves immersed in the Enchantic Realm, where their goal is to seek the Hilbert Spade, an ancient, magical artefact that kingdoms once warred over before it was hidden away. It’s said that whoever wields the Hilbert Spade can travel anywhere in spacetime by simply digging a small hole in the ground. Butt only a Master of Light is worthy enough to attain this treasure.

In order to become such a Master, players must traverse the ancient Photonic Trail, overcoming obstacles along the way. The challenges come in the form of six missions, and to accomplish them players must conduct experiments in a virtual laboratory of quantum optics.

Each successful mission takes you one step closer to becoming a Master of Light, one step closer to finding and wielding the Hilbert Spade.

The exhibition is in English, so it’s suitable for secondary school students and older primary school students. The aim is to open up an exhibition in the Helsinki region around mid-April.

Comments are closed.