Comments about the article in Nature: Quantum problems solved through games.

Following is a discussion about this "Research" in Nature Vol 532 14 April 2016, At page 184, by Sabrina Maniscalco
In the last paragraph I explain my own opinion.

This article is about the video game "Quantum Moves". In the same Nature Vol 532 there are two more articles about the same issue:


Figure 1. The online game "Bring Home Water"

In the game, players move an optical tweezer from the home region towards an atom.
The players must find a route that brings the liquid home as quickly as possible, without spilling it.
Sorensen et al used the fastest moves found by players to optimize the transfer of atoms within their quantum computer
The use of the word "quantum computer" is misleading. This should be PC.
The whole question in this exercise is why do you need "gamers"?
See also Reflection 1
So how can game players solve difficult research problems in quantum theory when they have no knowledge of either the puzzling phenomena of quantum physics or the sophisticated mathematical formalism used to describe it.
What they have "solved" is the simulation based on mathematics, not any physical problem.
By finding the fastest way to perform a certain task does not mean you have actually "solved" something.
One can do things in games that cannot be done in reality, so gamers are used to experimenting with possiblities that go beyond the classical laws of physics.
When a simulation allows you to do things that cannot be done in reality than the simulation is wrong
Understanding the principles and key conditions for the succesfull gamification of quantum problems is an interdisciplinary endavour requiring the interaction and collaboration of quantum physicists, game researchers, neuroscientists and many others.
When you want to understand quantum problems you need only physicicts. The physicists should unravel the mathematical equations (if they exist) to describe the quantum world, Using these equations you can build simulations. With a little extra effort you can make a game out of such a simulation. The question is if that is the best strategy to follow if you want to understand the quantum world.
See also Reflection 1

Reflection 1

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Created: 21 April 2016

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