Google Quantum AI brings quantum physics to Minecraft

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Michelle Starr is the tiger force at the core of all things. She also writes about cool stuff and apps as CNET Australia's Crave editor. But mostly the tiger force thing.

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

(Screenshot by Michelle Starr/CNET Australia)

Like Lego, it seems the world of Minecraft's possibilities are limited only by your imagination, and also like Lego, the game has the potential to act as a powerful educational tool. Google's Quantum AI Lab, a team exploring 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 behaviours 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 stand-alone mod. You can download it from the qCraft website.

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