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Quantum Everything

In Focus

Quantum Everything

The word “quantum” can cause shrugs in even highly educated shoulders, but with a “discrete quantity” of knowledge, quantum physics, and the technologies based on it, can be illuminated for everyone.

Let’s start with the theory

There once was a classical theory
Of which quantum disciples were leery.
They said, “Why spend so long
On a theory that’s wrong?”
Well, it works for your everyday query!

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In science’s ongoing effort to describe everything, there have always been small, troublesome gaps.

Learn from the experts
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The short answer

What is quantum physics?

Students and faculty from across Harvard explain the basics of quantum physics and why it’s so important.

Learn about Harvard’s Conceptual Foundations of Quantum Mechanics course

A glass wall with equations etched in it

The long answer

How does it work (and not work)?

“Quantum physics works phenomenally well. By almost any measure it is the most successful scientific theory of all time … but, there is a problem,” says science reporter and astrophysicist Adam Becker.

Watch the Harvard Science Book Talk

But Neils Bohr, what is it good for?

Nobel Prize winning quantum thought leader Neils Bohr could not have imagined the amazing applications that quantum physics is making possible.

Read about Harvard’s innovations in quantum science

A new type of endoscope

A nano-optic endoscope that uses a metalens could play a major role in lung cancer diagnosis.

Better lenses

Lenses and filters are created using techniques that—while refined—have been largely unchanged for centuries.

Metalenses manipulate light at the microscopic level, offering compactness and new functionality that isn’t possible with traditional lenses and filters.

Learn more about the work of Harvard’s Capasso Group

A glass orb on a glowing grid. Very evocative of future stuff.

Better credit cards

Researchers created a material that can do many of the things a magnetic strip can do, but without the need for the often-fragile magnetic force.

Learn more about this new quantum state

A person with gloves labeling test tubes

Better diagnostics

A process used to find and identify small molecules in biological samples such as blood and urine can struggle to identify molecules that haven’t been catalogued already—the vast majority of them.

So medical researchers and quantum scientists collaborated on a new algorithm for this process that draws from both quantum computing and classical machine learning.

Learn more about the work of Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School

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Making quantum computers a commercial reality

Can a startup take quantum computers from the lab to the world?

Learn more from the Harvard Business Review podcast

Fun with physics

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Learn quantum sign language

A collaboration between the Center for Integrated Quantum Materials and The Learning Center for the Deaf is developing quantum-related topics in American Sign Language.

Read more on The Harvard Gazette

Get entangled in a Harvard classroom

Explore our recorded lectures and talks on the world of quantum science.

Learn about our Ph.D. program in Quantum Science and Engineering

The world of quantum materials

Making sense of the quantum revolution