Miquel DURAN, University of Girona, Spain
Fernando BLASCO, Polytechnics University of Madrid, Spain
Silvia SIMON, University of Girona, Spain
Even though the world is navigating nowadays through the pandemic seas, one must not forget the main problem ahead: neither Climate Change, nor two of the main technology and science cornerstones that will be encountered in the near future: Artificial Intelligence and Quantum Computing. These two advances will certainly be very relevant for future pandemics, for climate change fight, and for other Society improvements, as gathered in the seventeen Sustainable Development Goals.
However, neither Artificial Intelligence nor Quantum Computing are easy to assess and understand, both by the general public and by highly educated individuals besides a small group of people. Our purpose here is to bring some light to the basics of Quantum Computing, so even ane elementary school student may understand it.
Classical computing deals with ones and zeros: bits. However, bits are either one or zero. In Quantum Computing, one deals also with ones and zeroes, but instead of bits one has qubits: they may be one and zero at the same time (one may bring here the famous Schödinger's Cat thought experiment).
Playing cards are especially useful to explain and teach classical and computer science, because the four suits are either red or black, so there is an equivalence with zeroes and ones in bits and qubits.
Our group has already created a few card magic tricks and games to improve the understanding of basic quantum mechanical principles, e.g., the Principle of Superposition, or modern, 21st-century futuristic techniques, like Quantum Cryptography by means of particle or photon entangled pairs.
In this communication we will extend earlier tricks and games that may allow young people and citizens of all ages to assess what quantum computing is about. Quantum gates and quantum operators, along with quantum effects, will be our target. All mixed with some fair doses of fun and humor.
We will also review earlier attempts to use card magic to understand quantum mechanics, quantum computing and quantum cryptography, and assess their strong points and also their drawbacks.
Finally, we will provide links to short videos about card magic games targeted to science-oriented students and adults. Indeed many people are intrigued when seeing a playing card case - it is kind of an attractor for attention, something our Society lacks more often. One must note that, on the contrary, a few people reject card magic - or all kinds of magic, even though presented as the art of illusion, rather than a technique to deceive.