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How do I explain qubits to my cousin who is 8 years old?

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I think coin flipping could be a good example. At any given time you can express the state of the flip as 50% on tails and 50% on heads. It’s when you make the measurement - to flip the coin- that you find out which of the two states the coin is for that measurement.

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  • $\begingroup$ You can also use Schrodinger cat. $\endgroup$ Feb 27, 2020 at 5:26
  • $\begingroup$ Sure, but I can say that when I was that age, that wouldn't have resonated with me. I do not know if using that thought would really land the point than using something as common place and palpable as coin flipping. $\endgroup$ Feb 27, 2020 at 19:43
  • $\begingroup$ On the one hand you are right, maybe somehow to adapt the example to the age. Probably something like this: There is a bottle with black ink and a white cat in a box. The bottle may be broken or not. Until you look to the box, the cat is grey - black and white in one time. Only after looking to the box you can recognize if the bottle was broken and the cat was colored and it is black or if it remained white. $\endgroup$ Feb 27, 2020 at 22:18
  • $\begingroup$ To be perfectly honest, I think it's best to keep it as simple as possible to prevent obscurity cloud the kernel of knowledge you would like to impress to a young mind. $\endgroup$ Feb 28, 2020 at 1:29
  • $\begingroup$ I agree with you. It was just an idea. It seemed to me that combination of white and black is better if you want to explain probabilities in superposition. The coin example allows you to work with 50:50 probability combination only. $\endgroup$ Feb 28, 2020 at 5:44
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This video does a good job of explaining quantum computing using a coin analogy. Also, I know they are older than a baby, but books such as Quantum Computing for Babies do a good job of simplifying the concepts so that anyone can understand them!

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