Quantum Steampunk: The Industrial Revolution meets the quantum-technology revolution.

Quantum Steampunk: The Industrial Revolution meets the quantum-technology revolution.

Nicole Yunger Halpern’s (IPST/ Harvard University) book “Quantum Steampunk:  The Physics of Yesterday’s Tomorrow,” is to be published by Johns Hopkins University Press, March 2022.   “...Moving from fundamental physics to cutting-edge experimental applications, Quantum Steampunk explores the field’s aesthetic, shares its whimsy, and gazes into the potential of a quantum future. The result is a blast for fans of science, science fiction, and fantasy.”

A theorist who works at the interface of quantum information science, AMO physics, and condensed matter physics, Yunger Halpern’s book introduces concepts of thermodynamics to the uninitiated with what she calls “quantum steampunk,” after the fantastical genre that pairs futuristic technologies with Victorian sensibilities. 

Nicole Yunger Halpern participated as a lecturer in the IPST designed Foundations of Quantum Computing course that was offered through the Science Academy in early June of this year. The work she presented summarized recent research that she and colleagues published in Nature's Scientific Reports, "Machine learning outperforms thermodynamics in measuring how well a many-body system learns a drive" [Sci. Rep. 11, 9333 (2021)] and novel connections between thermodynamics and quantum information theory that make the case for what has been called quantum thermodynamics, one of the topics of her book.

July 21, 2021


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Kevin Plank, co-founder of Under Armour, is an alumnus of the University of Maryland.