LASR: Kyra ’15 “Quantum Economy”

Kyra ’15 uses her love of physics to examine the future role of quantum physics in our daily lives.
“What I love in physics,” Kyra begins, “is studying the huge driving forces, like astrophysics and the creation of the universe – really big picture physics, but I also like the smaller things: like quantum mechanics and photos. I just think the properties of quantum mechanics are so fascinating, because they’re the fundamentals of who we are and everything that makes up the world we live in. If we understand the fundamentals of what makes us up, we understand the world much better.”

Kyra loves to explore large, complex ideas, and her LASR project, which studies quantum physics, its potential influence on the future of our economy, engineering, and technology, and the ethics of implementing quantum physics into our daily lives.

A macroeconomy (the way we get our energy, the things that move our economy forward) has its basis in classical works, and the fundamentals of classical physics. But according to Kyra, a paradigm shift is coming where the basic fundamentals of our economy could be based on quantum physics instead. This shift has already begun, with quantum computers that can crack any classical code. There are also, Kyra says, “potential energy solutions, as the possibility of energy stored in quantum superposition is much more efficient than our current system. This has massive implications for the future of sustainability.”

Some of these potential outcomes of a quantum economy are wholly positive. Others, like the potential for the involvement of the government, as well as private companies (in regard to privacy) are a little frightening. The important thing, Kyra says, is to stay informed.

“It’s scary. There are people who have access to this information that could be used against the general populace. I’m doing some surveys about how much people want to know about it, and how many people are aware of the current laws and to what degree this technology can be used against us.

Kyra supplements her own knowledge with free online MIT courses, Stanford University lectures that have been uploaded to Youtube, and articles she accesses through the School’s subscription to JSTOR.

Of the LASR Program as a whole, Kyra says: “I think it’s an excellent opportunity. LASR projects are such an excellent part of this school. This project has allowed me to delve in and realize that, wow, I can study physics. This is something I can do, and I want to do with my life. I’m going to take AP Physics next year and then go on to study it in college, because it’s really given me a lot of support in being able to do something that I’m going to carry on for the rest of my life.”

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