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April 6, 2019

NanoDays with a Quantum Leap

Ever wondered about the weird world of quantum mechanics? Spooky action at a distance? Superposition? Quantum computing? Well, dive right in at the Museum’s 2019 NanoDays with a Quantum Leap celebration!

Come explore worlds too small to see: nano science plus quantum science and their latest applications. Cheer on your favorite quantum idols at the 2019 National Quantum Matters Science Communication Competition Finals. Look inside a near life-size replica of an IBM  Q  System One, the world’s first fully-integrated universal quantum computer!

What's happening:

 National Quantum Matters
              Science Communication Finals

Who can give the best 3-minute talk explaining one aspect of quantum science and technology to a family audience? Finalists will compete for fame, fortune, and your vote. Everything, including the audience, will be filmed.

    • Warmups at 11:00 am
    • Finals, judging, and audience voting at 3:30 pm
    • Awards ceremony at 4:00 pm

Special Presentations:

A Quantum Computer You Can Program Yourself 

Bob Sutor, Vice President for IBM  Q  Strategy and Ecosystem at IBM Research will show how a quantum computer works, the kinds of problems it may be able to help us solve, and how you can begin to learn elements of quantum computer programming - and even get access to IBM’s cloud-based quantum computing resources. A replica of the IBM Q  System One will be on display.

Gordon Current Science & Technology Stage, Blue Wing, Level 1, at 12:30 pm.

Trapping Atoms for Quantum Computing

Dr. Diana P.L. Aude Craik from Harvard will show you how quantum engineers can now isolate and control single atoms, turning them into information processing units for use in the coming quantum computing revolution.

Gordon Current Science & Technology Stage, Blue Wing, Level 1, at 2:00 pm.

Enter a Virtual Crystal World 

Put on a Virtual Reality headset and let MIT physicist Joe Checkelsky and Scott W. Greenwald's VR team from the MIT Materials Research Lab guide you into the hidden atomic world of crystals.

Blue Wing, Lower Level, 11 am – 3 pm

The Amazing Nano Brothers Juggling Show

They’re back! Join virtuoso performers Dan and Joel as they provide a comic and unforgettable introduction to atoms, molecules, and nanoscale forces while juggling everything from baseball bats to potted plants — even while atop a seven-foot unicycle! Performances in Cahners Theater (Blue Wing, Level 2), 1:00 and 2:30 pm.

Hands-On Fun!

Meet young nano and quantum researchers from Harvard, MIT, and other local universities, and explore hands-on activities.

Blue Wing, Lower Level, 11:00 am – 3:00 pm

Discover Nano in Nature

Visit the Butterfly Garden (Blue Wing, Level 2) to learn about the tiny nanostructures that give beautiful colors to butterfly wings and self-cleaning properties to leaves. Purchase of separate timed ticket required for entrance.

You're the Nanoscientist!

Join us in the Hands-on Lab to explore nanoscience -- investigate questions, design your own experiments and use science tools from real research labs!

Suit/Cabot Lab, 1:30 pm – 3:30 pm

NanoDays with a Quantum Leap is brought to you this year with support from the National Science Foundation, the Center for Integrated Quantum Materials, and the QSTORM-AO Biological Imaging project. (Awards #s: 1231319, 1555541).


Locations throughout the Museum


Recommended for: Grades K – 12 and adults

Public Event

Free with Exhibit Halls admission. Purchase Exhibit Halls tickets:


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  • Wheelchair Accessible