A new mod called qCraft has been created for Minecraft which aims to incorporate quantum Physics and teach us all a little something about science whilst doing so. With the qCraft mod, players can experiment with quantum entanglement, superposition, and observer dependency.
The developers have stressed, however, that this isn’t a quantum physics simulator, but rather an approximation of the concepts of quantum physics, to help people understand the quantum world, which looks at the very bizarre things that happen when things are small. Very small. In fact, miniscule.
Using materials found in the game, players can create observer-dependent blocks that change depending on how you view them. For instance, a block could be configured to be stone when seen from west or east, but would look like wood when seen from north or south. If you were to use quantum entanglement on a group of observer-dependent blocks, then they all would change state when one of them is observed. Blocks with superposition, on the other hand, have a 50/50 chance of being one type of block or another type. This depends upon how and when you view them.
Let me further explain. You can also build quantum computers (which require ice blocks for cooling) that can store and transport entire constructs. If you build your house over a quantum computer, you can send it to an entangled quantum computer anywhere on the map. Taken all together, you can create some amazing, albeit uncomforting, effects. Like doors that only sometimes will appear, or whole buildings that vanish until you look at them at just the right angle.
Though the actual mod was created by indie game developer Daniel Rattcliffe, it was supported by Minecraft EDU, Teacher Gaming, E-Line Media, The Institute for Quantum Information and Matter, the California Institute of Technology, and also Google’s Quantum AI Lab. “Millions of kids are spending a whole lot of hours in Minecraft, not just digging caves and fighting monsters, but building assembly lines, space shuttles, and programmable computers, all in the name of experimentation and discovery,” reads a post on the Quantum AI Lab’s Google+ page. “We don’t even know the full potential of what you can make with qCraft, but we’re excited to see what Minecraft’s players can discover.”
The mod is available for download from qCraft’s website or the official Minecraft forum. It’s also been folded into the Tekkit, Hexxit and Feed The Beast Unleashed modpacks. If you like Minecraft, this sounds like a great way to play and learn something interesting at the same time.
[Image via: digital trends]