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Google Quantum AI brings quantum physics to Minecraft

Google's Quantum AI Lab collaborates with educators and physicists to bring simulated quantum physics into the blocky world of Minecraft.

Video screenshot by Michelle Starr/CNET Australia

As with Lego, it seems Minecraft's possibilities are limited only by the imagination, and also like Lego, the game has the potential to act as a powerful educational tool. The team at Google's Quantum AI Lab, which explores the possibilities of quantum computing, put their heads together and figured out that the next generation of computer scientists could discover their talents in none other than Mojang's vast, open, voxel-based world.

Together with MinecraftEdu, a group that partners with Mojang to bring Minecraft to schools, and scientists at California Institute of Technology's Institute for Quantum Information and Matter, Quantum AI Lab has built a Minecraft mod called qCraft that simulates quantum behaviors in the game.

The mod pack consists of new blocks that demonstrate quantum entanglement, superposition, and observer dependency. It's not exactly precise, as the Quantum AI Lab said on Google+: "qCraft isn't a perfect scientific simulation, but it's a fun way for players to experience a few parts of quantum mechanics outside of thought experiments or dense textbook examples."

qCraft has been added to several popular modpacks -- FTB Unleashed, Tekkit, and Hexxit -- or can be downloaded as a standalone mod from the qCraft Web site.

(Source: CNET Australia)