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Citizen Science in the Quantum World

Jülich, 3 December 2018 – Members of the public with an interest in science have the capacity to make a significant contribution to the scientific world. These “citizen scientists” count butterflies, analyse photographs of the surface of Mars, or solve puzzles to find optimal ways of folding protein molecules. For the first time, around 600 amateur scientists have now helped to optimize a quantum physics experiment to produce an ultracold quantum gas, participating via a remote gaming interface. When compared to a computer algorithm, they performed surprisingly well.


Remote optimization of an ultracold atoms experiment by experts and citizen scientists
Robert Heck, Oana Vuculescu, Jens Jakob Sørensen, Jonathan Zollerd, Morten G. Andreasen, Mark G. Bason, Poul Ejlertsen, Otto Eliasson, Pinja Haikka, Jens S. Laustsen, Lærke L. Nielsen, Andrew Mao, Romain Müller, Mario Napolitano, Mads K. Pedersen, Aske R. Thorsen, Carsten Bergenholtz, Tommaso Calarco, Simone Montangero, Jacob F. Sherson
PNAS published ahead of print November 9, DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1716869115 (Open Access)

Further information:

Science At Home: Alice-Challenge

Quantum science turns social (Press release of the University of Aarhus)


Prof. Dr. Tommaso Calarco
Forschungszentrum Jülich, Peter Grünberg Institute (PGI-8)
Tel.: +49 2461 61-9365

Press contact:

Dr. Regine Panknin
Forschungszentrum Jülich, Corporate Communications
Tel.: +49 2461 61-9054