Instructor leads open house at the Institute for Quantum Computing

People curious about the world of quantum science will be able to learn from University of Waterloo researchers when the doors to the Mike & Ophelia Lazaridis Quantum-Nano Centre open to the public on Saturday.

Scientists from the University of Waterloo’s Institute for Quantum Computing  (IQC) and the Waterloo Institute for Nanotechnology (WIN) will share the work they do every day during the annual Doors Open Waterloo Region event on Sept. 21.

One of the programs, Q-Kids Science, will feature activities for children aged 2-12. “Children have an innate sense of curiosity, but in the technological world we live in, it’s easy to lose perspective of where everything comes from,” says Martin Laforest, IQC’s senior outreach manager. “By showing them basic physics, like electricity, magnetism and light, we have a chance to show them that no matter how advanced technology is, it all starts with the building blocks of nature.”

Four University of Waterloo sites open

The Lazaridis quantum-nano centre is just one of four University sites open to the public on Saturday. The University’s Student Design Centre will be open with its ten work bays, machine shop, test labs and 3D-printing facility. The public will also be able to tour the Brubacher House, an historic gem on campus built in 1850. Residents are also invited to go behind the scenes at the fascinating University of Waterloo Fire Research Lab and Waterloo Region Emergency Services Training and Research Complex  located at 1001 Erb’s Road at Gate 3 of the Waterloo Region Waste Management site.

At the Lazaridis centre, programs like Engineering Science Quest and Let’s Talk Science will engage children with interactive activities including a superconducting train and slime in the Kid Zone. They can also discover the future of quantum communications with a model of a satellite pointing system in the Discovery Zone.

David Cory, Canada Excellence Research Chair and IQC deputy director, will present a public talk at 2 p.m. Cory’s talk, Not your typical ghost story: Telling stories in a quantum world, will explore how stories about the quantum world can be told even when the science seems out of this world. He’ll also describe some of the ways that quantum devices are going to change the world. 

Doors Open 2013 also marks the anniversary of the Lazaridis centre. Last fall, more than 2,000 visitors attended the grand opening celebrations, including renowned physicist Stephen Hawking.