Big Picture Science Show: "Quantum: Why We Want 'Em" Seth Shostak, Molly Bentley
Einstein thought that quantum mechanics might be the end of physics, and most scientists felt sure it would never be useful. Today, everything from cell phones to LED lighting is completely dependent on the weird behavior described by quantum mechanics.
But the story continues. Quantum computers may be millions of times faster than your laptop, and applying them to big data could be transformational for biology and health. Quantum entanglement – “spooky” action at a distance – may not allow faster-than-light communication, but could be important in other ways. And there’s even the suggestion that quantum mechanics defines the difference between life and death.
Quantum physics. It’s weird and exotic. But it’s how the universe works.