Scene on Campus

Lighting the way

An art installation digs into the complexities of quantum computing.

A forest of light appeared on the New Haven Green the evening of Friday, June 23, part of New Haven’s 2023 International Festival of Arts and Ideas. Stewart Smith ’08MFA, an artist in residence at Yale’s Quantum Institute through this past June, had worked with researchers and students from the institute to design Beneath The Green, The Quantum. The goal: to expose a new audience to the concepts of quantum computing. As visitors walked through the beacons of light, patterns shifted to illustrate the algorithm, developed at Yale, for error correction in quantum computing.

“If people don’t want to go deep into the meaning, it’s a fun art installation,” says Florian Carle, producer of the event and manager of the Quantum Institute. “If people want to go deeper, we can talk about the algorithm.” He hopes to recreate the installation on campus this fall. “People need to understand how this technology works,” Carle adds. “It will provide a computer that will outperform your computer. Quantum computing will affect your life.”

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