Quantum music

In April 2021 we collaborated with artist, producer and audio engineer Simon Small to investigate how quantum physics and technology can be used or utilised to generate sounds or music. Over a 16-week period, scientists worked with Simon to discuss experiments and concepts in quantum, which were then used to produce audio outputs. Simulations from quantum experiments and audio samples from the lab were all used as tools to generate music and sounds.  

Of the many avenues explored, the project centred on two key quantum themes:  

  • Quantum and classical random walks
  • Grover’s algorithm 

These topics are introduced below along with a discussion on how they were used to generate sounds and music. There are also links on the resource page where you can download the sample packs, notation, and audio outputs used for both of the projects. Please feel free to use and share these, we’d love to hear more quantum music!

This collaboration was supported by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC doctoral prize EP/R513179/1). Project credits:

  • Scientific simulation: Jake Bulmer
  • Audio samples: Euan Allen 
  • Acoustic wizard: Simon Small  
  • Wider science team: Giacomo Ferranti, Holly Caskie, Ross Wakefield, Daniel Merchant 

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