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Quantum physics in the school curriculum

Quantum physics in the school curriculum

The project partners have distributed around 400 of these sets to teachers at schools in Lower Saxony

As part of the revision of the physics curriculum in Lower Saxony, quantum technology will be given greater consideration. Researchers from the Cluster of Excellence QuantumFrontiers and the Collaborative Research Centre DQ-mat have been supporting this process with their expertise since last year.

In addition to the development of experimental kits for the teaching of quantum technology phenomena, examples of practical applications of quantum physics will also play a role. To this end, researchers have now developed a web application for generating quantum keys. Quantum keys are used in quantum cryptography to transmit tap-proof messages. A variant of the web application also makes it possible to simulate an eavesdropping attack: will a third party succeed in intercepting the secret key? The generation of the quantum key is based on different polarisation states of photons. The different polarisations generate different bit values, which form the basis of the key. To randomly select the polarisation basis and bit, project partners from the Department of Physics Education at the University of Münster have developed 3D-printed cubes. Over the past few months, the project team has distributed around 12,000 of these cubes in approximately 400 sets as part of the state-wide implementation training courses for the new Lower Saxony curriculum. During the training courses, teachers learnt how to use the web application and can thus inspire future high-school students for applications of quantum technology.

The two interactive simulations for quantum key distribution according to the BB84 protocol can be found here (only in German).