New Podcast Featuring Quantum Experts Spurs Curiosity The Helen Diller Quantum Center recently launched PodQuantum, a podcast series designed to make people in general – and Technion students in particular – more comfortable with and curious about the field of quantum science.
Many students do not study quantum science or quantum engineering because they simply don’t understand what it actually is and why it could be useful to them. Even if students do know what quantum science is, they are often unaware of the opportunities that exist at Technion to enable them to explore this fascinating field and expand their knowledge.
The Helen Diller Quantum Center tapped Shai Tsesses to help with this public relations conundrum. Tsesses, who is completing his PhD in Electrical Engineering, joined the Quantum Center’s Board two years ago as a student representative. He suggested producing a podcast series in Hebrew consisting of casual conversations with experts in the field of quantum science and engineering. The first two installments, which feature Prof. Yosi Avron and Prof. Ido Kaminer, were recently uploaded to SoundCloud, and four more installments will be added soon.
“People have psychological barriers when it comes to quantum,” says Tsesses. “The podcasts make the subject more accessible.” In each installment, the featured professor chats with him for approximately one hour, speaking candidly about themselves and their careers. Generally, the first part of the podcast is more intimate and covers the professor’s personal and professional paths. The second part focuses on their research, including past accomplishments and goals for the future.
In the final section, they discuss their views of quantum science and engineering and their predictions for the development of these fields in the future. In the first installment of the series, Prof. Yosi Avron, who is the Director of the Helen Diller Quantum Center, opens up to Tsesses about his personal life and his impressive career – and the resulting conversation is truly fascinating. Prof. Avron talks about the challenges of juggling family life with his devotion to Physics, reveals how he became interested in quantum engineering, and speaks passionately about the scholarship fund he established for former ultra-Orthodox Jews seeking a Technion education, among other subjects.
In the second podcast, one of the rising stars on the Technion faculty, Prof. Ido Kaminer of the Andrew and Erna Viterbi Faculty of Electrical Engineering and the Helen Diller Quantum Center, takes Tsesses and the podcast’s listeners behind the scenes of his groundbreaking research in the field of quantum matter. His group recently documented for the first time a new type of interaction between light and matter using a unique ultrafast transmission electron microscope that was installed in his lab – the best and most versatile near field optical microscope in the world. Throughout the podcast, listeners are treated to interesting anecdotes about his scientific achievements as well as other subjects, including Kaminer’s life-long fascination with Mathematics.
Through the podcasts, students at Technion and elsewhere are exposed to quantum science in a non-threatening manner and become aware of the range of exciting research possibilities in this emerging field. Indeed, quantum communications, quantum computing and quantum sensing are some of the areas that are developing at a rapid pace, and experts predict that many aspects of quantum science will become increasingly important in the next decade with an ever-wider range of applications.
Shai Tsesses has many great ideas for the PodQuantum initiative. He would like the podcast to host quantum scientists from all over the world. Indeed, this can be an excellent way to attract a wider student audience to the many top-tier professors from around the world who lecture remotely at the Quantum Center’s weekly seminars and at other occasions. He also hopes to make the series available on popular platforms such as Apple Podcast and Spotify in order to increase its exposure. Stay tuned!