Hello,

We noticed you're browsing in private or incognito mode.

To continue reading this article, please exit incognito mode or log in.

Not an Insider? Subscribe now for unlimited access to online articles.

Tom Simonite

A View from Tom Simonite

Google Entangles Minecraft with Quantum Physics

Thanks to Google, Minecraft players can now toy with quantum teleportation and Einstein’s “spooky action at a distance.”

  • October 21, 2013

One reason for the popularity of the video game Minecraft is the way its blocky universe faithfully adheres to the physics of the real one. Google has now released a software package that introduces quantum physics to the game, an area of nature’s laws previously missed out by Minecraft creator Markus Persson (see “TR35: Markus Persson”).

Players of qCraft, as the new “mod” is called, can toy with quantum teleportation, entanglement, and objects that exist in a “superposition” of multiple states at once.

Google asked Caltech quantum mechanic Spyridon Michalakis to help design qCraft. In a blog post on the project, he expresses hope that the mod will help people from school age and up to understand the quantum world better. Google also partnered with MinecraftEdu, a project run by educators from the U.S. and Finland interested in using the game as a teaching aid.

Although qCraft was released just last week, some Minecraft enthusiasts are already showing off what they can do with quantum physics in the game. In this video, a Minecraft player recreates the famous Schrödinger’s cat thought experiment. Google’s own interests in quantum physics extend beyond the theoretical. Earlier this year the company began a new research effort into quantum computing (see “Google and NASA Launch Quantum Computing AI Lab”).

For those looking for hints on how to get started, the qCraft project has produced a series of how-to videos about the mod. For an introduction to Minecraft read our recent article explaining its allure (see “Minecraft and the Secret to a Video-Game Phenomenon”).

Tech Obsessive?
Become an Insider to get the story behind the story — and before anyone else.

Subscribe today

Uh oh–you've read all of your free articles for this month.

Insider Premium
$179.95/yr US PRICE

More from Intelligent Machines

Artificial intelligence and robots are transforming how we work and live.

Want more award-winning journalism? Subscribe and become an Insider.
  • Insider Plus {! insider.prices.plus !}* Best Value

    {! insider.display.menuOptionsLabel !}

    Everything included in Insider Basic, plus the digital magazine, extensive archive, ad-free web experience, and discounts to partner offerings and MIT Technology Review events.

    See details+

    What's Included

    Unlimited 24/7 access to MIT Technology Review’s website

    The Download: our daily newsletter of what's important in technology and innovation

    Bimonthly print magazine (6 issues per year)

    Bimonthly digital/PDF edition

    Access to the magazine PDF archive—thousands of articles going back to 1899 at your fingertips

    Special interest publications

    Discount to MIT Technology Review events

    Special discounts to select partner offerings

    Ad-free web experience

  • Insider Basic {! insider.prices.basic !}*

    {! insider.display.menuOptionsLabel !}

    Six issues of our award winning print magazine, unlimited online access plus The Download with the top tech stories delivered daily to your inbox.

    See details+

    What's Included

    Unlimited 24/7 access to MIT Technology Review’s website

    The Download: our daily newsletter of what's important in technology and innovation

    Bimonthly print magazine (6 issues per year)

  • Insider Online Only {! insider.prices.online !}*

    {! insider.display.menuOptionsLabel !}

    Unlimited online access including articles and video, plus The Download with the top tech stories delivered daily to your inbox.

    See details+

    What's Included

    Unlimited 24/7 access to MIT Technology Review’s website

    The Download: our daily newsletter of what's important in technology and innovation

/
You've read all of your free articles this month. This is your last free article this month. You've read of free articles this month. or  for unlimited online access.