By James Dacey
It’s a rare thing to meet a scientist who appears to have a truly open mind about the future of their field. But when I recently caught up with Anton Zeilinger, the Vienna-based quantum information scientist, his enthusiasm for an overthrow of accepted quantum theory left me in no doubt that Zeilinger is a researcher relishing the future.
Zeilinger firmly believes that human emotions play a key role in the progress of science and researchers are often unwilling to accept brave new ideas, perhaps due to a fear of the unknown. “We can see that too often scientists are conservative and sometimes even emotionally against what they perceive as speculation,” he told me.
The physicist also believes that children should be exposed to the concepts of quantum mechanics from an early age, perhaps by incorporating the laws of quantum mechanics into computer games. “It could be a game that works according to the rules of quantum mechanics, not according to the rules of classical mechanics. And we could see if the children are able to play with it, not knowing what is behind it,” he explained.
You can now read my full interview with Anton Zeilinger, which has just been published here on physicsworld.com.