decide game:

quantum technologies

Group 3 – Participant 5

Story cards

Read all the cards from this category, choose the one that looks more interesting to you and explain it to the rest of the group.

clara caballero

Story Card 4

I work for a quantum information research group at ICFO, a research centre in Castelldefels, near Barcelona, although we have many colleagues around the world.

In addition to promoting scientific and technological research, I think it is important to tell people about how the latest scientific advances can affect their lives.

In 2016, we coordinated an international project to conduct a quantum physics experiment with the collaboration of the public. More than 100,000 people took part in the Big Bell Test!

pere puig

Story Card 7

I am a partner in a small family business that makes furniture. A few years ago, I had solar panels fitted on the roof of the unit we use as a factory and warehouse. At that time, I found out a lot of information about it and was surprised to discover that it is quantum physics that explains the rules that underpin their operation!

Who would have thought quantum technology would help me save money as I helped save the planet?

teresa torres

Story Card 9

I work at a company that designs and builds lasers, ranging from small ones like the pointers you can buy in a local shop to industrial lasers that can precisely cut all kinds of material or even weld metal. We also manufacture lasers used in operating theatres to perform precision surgery.

A unique technology derived from quantum interactions between light and matter with many different applications.

info cards


Read all cards from this category, choose the two that look more interesting and explain them to the rest of the group.



Info Card 4

In quantum physics, measurement means extracting information from a system in some way.

Measuring a quantum system can change its state: for example, polarisation measurements can switch the polarisation from vertical to horizontal.

Contrary to what happens in the macroscopic world, in quantum physics the order of measurements can vary the final result.

Applications: increasing the security of cryptography. The inevitable effect of measurement on a particle's state may be evidence of a spy's presence.

magnetic resonance

Info Card 16

MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scanners work thanks to the interaction of some of the particles in our body (hydrogen atoms) with very intense magnetic fields.

This technique is widely used in medicine to obtain images of soft tissues, such as joints and tendons. It is also useful to obtain detailed brain images that make it possible to identify aneurysms and tumours.

second quantum revolution

Info Card 20

Quantum physics has allowed the birth of a first wave of technologies (such as lasers and transistors).

We can now control quantum particles at individual level and are arriving at the point of designing new disruptive technologies (second quantum revolution).

Examples: quantum computing, quantum cryptography, quantum simulators and quantum sensors.


quantum physics and artificial intelligence

Info Card 24

Artificial intelligence has revolutionised technology in recent years. However, in order to be able to apply these techniques to the vast amount of data we have available, we need greater computing power. Quantum computers could be the answer to this problem, allowing us to expand the fields of application of artificial intelligence algorithms.

Moreover, artificial intelligence has contributed to significant advances in the field of quantum physics, helping us solve problems that are almost impossible to solve with traditional computing techniques.

thinking cards


Read all the cards from this category, choose the one that looks more interesting to you and explain it to the rest of the group.


There are more pressing problems

Thinking Card 8

Science and technology have improved and are continuing to improve our quality of life. However, many pressing and important challenges remain that need solutions that research cannot provide directly and quickly. Perhaps we should focus our efforts on reducing social inequalities, unemployment, hunger and poverty. Or can science and technology also help with these aspects?


The applications of fundamental science

Thinking Card 14

Many of the technologies that we use nowadays derived from a very different research field. For example, the internet was created at an international particle physics research centre, CERN; satellite positioning systems (GPS, Galileo) owe their precision to the theory of general relativity.

Sometimes, research fields that, in principle, do not have obvious applications, generate useful technologies as side-effects. Should we invest in fundamental research for the potential benefits that would come from possible collateral applications? Or is the advancement of knowledge sufficient reason to put resources into research?



The time and resources available to solve the major problems affecting society are limited. Imagine being part of the committee that has to decide how to invest money to develop quantum technologies at European level over the next few years: since you know that that quantum technologies could benefit society in many different ways, how many resources would you commit to developing them?

This is not an individual decision: each group must reach a unanimous conclusion by arguing properly and rationally based on the facts you have learned so far. There is no right or wrong answer. Like many things in life, it depends on your point of view, your priorities, etc.


quantum technologies are the future

Option 1

Their applications in all fields of human activity will radically change our lives, just as electricity and electronics once did. We must invest as much as we can in their development, to make them commercially viable as soon as possible. 


quantum technologies are still too far away

Opció 2

We should not be fooled by illusory promises. We have gone very far with traditional technologies and we still have a long way to go: we should keep the current investment in quantum technologies at the same level. Let scientists do their work and continue to research, focusing on maintaining and improving the technologies that we already have. 


we should prioritise

Option 3

Research into quantum physics and its applications is positive, but we currently have other far more important and pressing issues, such as hunger, poverty, wars and terrorism. Let us maintain research, but invest our money to find solutions to the major problems our society has today.  

we should boost basic science

Option 4

Quantum technologies are very promising, but if they are to be effective, they require solid knowledge of their foundations. We should invest in fundamental research: a better understanding of the foundations of quantum physics will naturally lead to the development of its applications.

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