Wonderful Engineering

Teen Scientist Wins Global Prize For A Much Simplified Explanation Of Quantum Tunneling

An intelligent teen won a major prize for her video explaining a complex phenomenon like no one ever did before. She comes from Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada.

It was one of the biggest scientific competitions, and she deserved the prize for the way she simplified hard to understand Quantum Tunneling.

Major Prize For Explaining Quantum Tunneling

Maryam Tsegaye, the student who was outstanding at explaining quantum tunneling, is just 17 years old. And is enrolled in Ecole McTavish Public High School. It was the sixth annual Breakthrough Junior Challenge, and she clearly won it with quite a margin.

Tsegaye simplified the concept of quantum mechanics with an analogy between electrons and the way her brother usually cheats on video games.

A Hard To Understand Phenomenon

Quantum tunneling is a concept in quantum mechanics where electrons can tunnel or pass through barriers considered impassible in classical physics’ theoretical lens. A famous physicist once said those who are not shocked when they first come across quantum tunneling could not possibly have understood it.

Entangled particles can travel at a faster speed than the speed of light in the quantum world. It allows particles to exist in multiple places at once, which is impossible to explain in classical physics.

In another explanation, when a wave function successfully passes through a possible barrier, e.g., like throwing a ball with every probability of it bouncing back, but in contrast, it disappears by crossing the barrier in an unexplained way.

Teen Explains It With A Game Cheat Code Example

Tsegaye said that the way her brother uses cheat codes in the game and passes through objects like a miracle is the same way quantum tunneling works.

Teen Wunderkind, A Teacher & School To Receive Financial Awards

Tsegaye won the competition after several experts analyzed her submission; she now receives $250,000 for her college funds.

Other than this, her physics teacher got lucky with another $50,000 for well explaining the concepts to the students, and the school received $100,000 to build an additional laboratory on the premises. Co-Founder Julia Milner of Breakthrough Junior Challenge congratulated Tsegaye on her tremendous achievement.

Quantum physics is a fastly growing field associated with the most advanced levels of physics, quantum computing, genetic research, data science, and many other fields. As the newer generations of scientists, researchers, and physicists pass from the college and go to their designated fields, more of such explanations will prevail with modern ways of explaining complex phenomena.

This is how things are in her casually-toned video explanation, which uses animations and modern graphics to simplify one of the most complex concepts.