Ep258 - Nicole Yunger Halpern | Quantum Steampunk: The Physics of Yesterday's Tomorrow

Theoretical physicist Dr. Nicole Yunger Halpern visits Google to discuss her book "Quantum Steampunk: The Physics of Yesterday's Tomorrow." Victorian era steam engines and particle physics may seem worlds apart, yet a new branch of science, quantum thermodynamics, re-envisions the scientific underpinnings of the Industrial Revolution through the lens of today's quantum information revolution. Classical thermodynamics, understood as the study of engines, energy, and efficiency, needs reimagining to take advantage of quantum mechanics, the basic framework that explores the nature of reality by peering at minute matter, down to the momentum of a single particle. In her new book, intrepid Harvard-trained physicist Dr. Nicole Yunger Halpern introduces these concepts to the uninitiated with what she calls "quantum steampunk," after the fantastical genre that pairs futuristic technologies with Victorian sensibilities. While readers follow the adventures of a rag-tag steampunk crew on trains, dirigibles, and automobiles, they explore questions such as, "Can quantum physics revolutionize engines?" and "What deeper secrets can quantum information reveal about the trajectory of time?" Yunger Halpern also describes her own adventures in the quantum universe and provides an insider's look at the work of the scientists obsessed with its technological promise. 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. Visit http://g.co/TalksAtGoogle/QuantumSteampunk to watch the video.

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The Talks at Google podcast - where great minds meet. Talks at Google brings the world’s most influential thinkers, creators, makers, and doers all to one place. Every episode is taken from a video that can be seen at YouTube.com/TalksAtGoogle. DISCLAIMER: The views or opinions expressed by the guest speakers are solely their own and do not necessarily represent the views or opinions of Google, Inc. The comments on this channel belong only to the person who posted them. We do, however, reserve the right to remove off-topic or inappropriate comments. Also, the materials presented in the episodes are licensed to Google by the speaker(s). Google does not endorse any products or technology presented by the guest speakers.