Quantum physics explained simply! Award-winning game app Kitty Q launches QUANTube series with explainer videos


The Cluster of Excellence ct.qmat – Complexity and Topology in Quantum Matter of the Würzburg and Dresden universities was awarded in December a 2nd place in the category Best Serious Game 2021 – as part of the first Games Innovation Award Saxony – for its novel game app "Kitty Q – A Quantum Adventure." The mobile game, which encourages children and young people to learn more about physics in a playful way, has been available in the App and Play Stores since mid-October. To date, the app has been downloaded 65,000 times worldwide. In January 2022, the follow-up project "QUANTube – Science Break" will be launched. In the video series, early career researchers from the Cluster of Excellence and its partner institutions will answer questions from Kitty Q players on quantum physics on a monthly basis. The concept has now been awarded the €20,000 Community Prize of the German Research Foundation (DFG).


"We are thrilled that our app Kitty Q was honored in the category Best Serious Game at the Games Innovation Award Saxony. The references to quantum physics are always there, but our game can also be played completely without math or physics know-how. Detailed background knowledge is optionally available in the Kittypedia. We invested a lot of work in compiling these generally understandable encyclopedia articles on quantum physics. We are immensely pleased that this award highlights the aspect of knowledge transfer in particular," explains Prof. Matthias Vojta, Professor of Theoretical Solid State Physics at Technische Universität (TU) Dresden and spokesperson of the Dresden branch of ct.qmat.


The next round of Kitty Q is now starting with the project QUANTube – Science Break: "From January 2022 on, our young researchers will be answering questions about quantum physics sent to us by players from all over the world in entertaining explanatory videos. We are challenging ourselves in terms of easy comprehensibility and language suitable for children and young people," explains the spokesperson of the Würzburg branch of the Cluster Ralph Claessen, Professor of Experimental Physics at Julius-Maximilians-Universität (JMU) Würzburg. "The fact that the DFG has now awarded a Community Prize to QUANTube is a special honor for us because it is awarded by marketing experts from the research community and not by a specialist jury. Perhaps there is even some curiosity about our implementation behind the vote."


The game app Kitty Q has so far been downloaded 65,000 times worldwide. "It's great to see how enthusiastically people are playing and how great the feedback and ratings are. That is anything but a matter of course for a game that imparts knowledge," says app designer Philipp Stollenmayer, who developed the game for the Würzburg-Dresden Cluster of Excellence. So far, Stollenmayer has won all the major prizes in game design for the games he has developed on his own – most recently the Apple Design Award 2020.


Answering questions from the players using video
Whoever solves a certain puzzle in the mobile game Kitty Q - A Quantum Adventure earns a bonus app, which can be used to ask the researchers of the Cluster of Excellence ct.qmat a question. So far, more than 45 questions on physics and quantum physics have been sent via the in-game bonus app.

All questions will be answered by the doctoral and postdoctoral researchers of the Cluster of Excellence on a topic-related basis in YouTube explanatory videos starting as of January 2022 – in school break length of about five minutes and in line with the Science Year 2022, which has the motto "Inquire into a matter." For recruiting the next generation of scientists, the cluster also relies on a strong network of five non-university partner institutes: the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden Rossendorf, the Leibniz-Institut für Festkörperund und Werkstoffforschung Dresden, the Max-Planck-Institut für Chemische Physik fester Stoffe Dresden, the Max-Planck-Institut für Physik komplexer Systeme Dresden, and the Bayerisches Zentrum für Angewandte Energieforschung Würzburg.


"QUANTube – Science Break" #1: Schrödinger's cat
The first QUANTube episode answers questions about Schrödinger's cat. The video will be published on the YouTube channel of the Cluster of Excellence ct.qmat at the end of January.

America, England, Vietnam, China, and Germany – questions about cats were sent in from all over the world: What does the Q in Kitty Q stand for? Why is the cat half dead? How long do cats live when they are half dead? What do the cat's atoms look like when it is dead and alive at the same time? Why did Schrödinger use a cat and not another animal in his thought experiment in the first place?


A little preview of the new QUANTube video series is provided by a teaser video that answers the question, "What do cats actually have to do with physics?": https://youtu.be/IS10Shmqv4I 


More on Kitty Q

Wondering what the future held in store for Kitty Q? Selected highlights can be found here: https://www.ctqmat.de/en/news/2022-03-31-great-honor-for-kitty-q-the-game-app-wins-spanish-game-award-is-nominated-for-important-german-media-awards, and here: https://www.ctqmat.de/en/news/2022-09-22-kitty-q-on-the-prowl-for-prizes-mobile-game-created-by-the-wuerzburg-and-dresden-universities-receives-three-awards-in-one-day

Date & Facts

21 Dec 2021


Community Prize
The Community Prize for International Research Marketing is a new competition format of "Research in Germany" – an initiative of the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), implemented by the DFG. This year, six project ideas from German universities and research institutions were each awarded €20,000. Around 350 people from the "community," i.e., with content related to the topics of "internationalization" or "international research marketing," took part in the online voting. The aim of the competition is to increase the international visibility and networking of German universities and research institutions.


Games Innovation Award Saxony
The Games Innovation Award Saxony (GIAS) is an initiative of the association Games & XR Mitteldeutschland, sponsored by the Free State of Saxony. The GIAS was awarded for the first time. There were a total of 56 submissions for six categories. The award ceremony took place online on December 2, 2021. The 2nd place in the category Best Serious Game 2021 was honored with an award and non-monetary prizes.


Cluster of Excellence ct.qmat
The Cluster of Excellence ct.qmat – Complexity and Topology in Quantum Matter is a joint research collaboration by Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg and Technische Universität (TU) Dresden since 2019. More than 270 scientists from 34 countries and four continents perform research on topological quantum materials that reveal surprising phenomena under extreme conditions such as ultra-low temperatures, high pressures, or strong magnetic fields. If it becomes possible to exploit these unusual properties under ambient conditions, they will serve as a foundation for revolutionary quantum chips and new types of technological applications. The Cluster of Excellence is funded by the Excellence Strategy of the Federal and State governments - as the only cluster in Germany that traverses federal state boundaries.


Contact for journalists
Katja Lesser, Public Relations Manager of the Cluster of Excellence ct.qmat, Phone: +49 351 463 33496, katja.lesser@tu-dresden.de 

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