Pretend to be Einstein in your own virtual quantum lab

Or hide a cat in a box like Schrödinger

Ever wanted to recreate the experiments that early 20th century scientists used to uncover the weirdness of quantum physics? Well now you can, from the comfort of your armchair, in a virtual quantum laboratory developed by the University of Vienna.

Physicists there have created two complete, photorealistic computer simulations of laboratories. The goal is to allow university and school students, as well as the general public, to virtually access instruments they wouldn't normally be able to get their hands on.

Getting started

It's divided into two sections: a 'learning path', which acts as a tutorial for how to use the laboratory, and an 'expert mode' which offers unfettered access to all the different parts. The tutorial covers much of the basics of quantum science, as well as teaching you how to use the equipment.

The team behind it, led by PhD student Mathias Tomandl, says they hope it'll help people gain a fundamental understanding of the applications of quantum mechanics. "One could describe it as a flight simulator of quantum physics," said Tomandl.

You can have a play with it yourself right here, and Tomandl has also put together a research paper that explains how it works for the journal Scientific Reports. Now, where did I put that cat?

Image credit: Quantum Nanophysics Group, University of Vienna