spaceSpace and Physics

Play This Game Today To Help Test The Laws Of Quantum Mechanics


Dr. Alfredo Carpineti

Senior Staff Writer & Space Correspondent

clockNov 30 2016, 16:05 UTC

Serkan Ogdum/Shutterstock

If you want to play a game and help scientists worldwide test some of the fundamental laws of physics, today is your lucky day. Twelve laboratories around the world are looking to employ the power of human randomness to conduct a series of quantum experiments.

The scientists hope to borrow time from at least 30,000 volunteers to create a large and incredibly pure series of random numbers that will help test the laws of quantum physics.


The Big Bell Test will run for the whole of today, until 1:59am EDT/6.59am GMT tomorrow, and requires volunteers of any age or scientific level to simply randomly input a series of ones and zeros in a six-level game. For every zero or one a player inputs, a specific measurement will be taken out by one of the labs monitoring the data.

The actual experiments are taking place in labs simultaneously in Australia, Germany, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, France, Sweden, Chile, and the US, and the scientists hope that people from all over the world would like a chance to use their skills in the aid of science.

The project is coordinated by the Institute of Photonic Sciences of Barcelona (ICFO) whose work focuses on, among other things, the creation of random numbers. Like in many other disciplines, computers are very fast at doing a task, while humans do it better. And humans are much better at being unpredictable.

To get involved, participants just need a device with Internet connection. You just need to connect to the video game and try to pass all the levels, thus generating the maximum possible quantity of bits.


You don’t even need to like physics. Actually, if you think that Einstein is way too smug, always being right about everything, this is your chance to shut him down. The Bell Test has proved that the German physicist’s idea of quantum mechanics is not correct, so today you could proudly say “I’ve helped prove Einstein wrong.”

The Bell Test experiments are crucial in continuing to test the probabilistic nature of quantum mechanics. These tests have been performed for decades and so far they have all agreed that the classical picture of the world, with its well-determined positions and energies, is a limited view of reality. And when one goes down to the micro world things get a lot weirder and interesting. 

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