Quantum Computing for Space Resources

Applications in Nuclear Propulsion for Planetary Science Missions

Micah Tinklepaugh
9 min readMar 1



Summary for the Curious

Do you have a desire to push the frontiers of science, art, or engineering in new mediums? The purpose of this document is to form a constellation novel human computer interactions leveraging quantum computing and sensory arts. Quantum computing uses properties of sub-atomic particles to process information far more efficiently for some types of problems than traditional computers can. This document provides observances of these experiences to outline a path forward in a new discipline. The vision is to build quantum systems leveraging sensory arts to physically explore the universe beyond and within.

This article will be populated with images once I obtain permission from authors to include their works.

New Horizons for Human Computer Interaction in 2030

Recent advances in computing has opened up the ability to process information in new ways.

  1. First, some types of information processing can be done faster, in minutes, not centuries.
  2. Second, some types of information can be processed through different types of reasoning.

For example, associations may be leveraged to process information even when a domain may not have a direct relationship with other disciplines. This may be due to limitations in our knowledge of. data structures inherent to how we’ve expressed our cognitive processes in digital processing as opposed to quantum circuits. Quantum Computing encodes some data types more robustly than traditional methods. It is only possible because of quantum physics, the science of modeling the behavior of sub-atomic behavior. Given that this behavior is invisible to the human eye, one of the primary ways of visualizing the relationships has been through fixed computer screens and mathematical constructs in papers requiring discreet pathways to comprehension that are unwieldy for the general populations. In short, people who love physics are discouraged by how physics are experienced in the educational system.

The problem with this is two fold:

Spatial behavior of invisible phenomena is being reduced to a flat surface of the screen and therefore loses much of its meaning. This occurs when it is transduced from the signal source to the computer and then re-represented for display to the biological sensor interfacing with the human brain.

Confining information to a linear experience of linguistic and mathematical expression generally reduces spontaneous discovery and correlation. Given human memory on average holds 7 pieces of information in its short term register, the reader has only 7 rows of information by which to refer before and after their current position is experiencing the mathematical equations describing the behavior.

Given that quantum physics serves as the basis for quantum computing it may follow that limitations in the first subject may impact the second.

American Physicst Leonard Susskind says there are insurmountable limitations of human visualization. But the reality is we don’t have that tool at our disposal for advances in quantum physics and computing. Quantum Art serves to fundamentally break with this perspective and instead offer a solution to accelerate the discovery and application of it across domains.

What is Quantum Art?

As of January 2023, Quantum Art is defined through a combination of dictionary and use in science, engineering, and art communities:

Multi-sensory experiences interacting with the motion, mechanics, mathematics, and computer science methods between sub-atomic particles as they relate to larger experiential scales and non-intuitive subjects our universe. These experiences can be measured and described as patterns of neural stimulation shared by two observers in any location.

This definition has been built based on research performed in a previous articles I wrote.

It would probably benefit by being adapted after reading a book called “From Digital to Quantum Humanities: Potentials and Applications

Examples from Science, Engineering, and Art Communities

From the engineering perspective, some of the best Quantum Art can be found from an online course by Black Opal on Quantum Computing. But I need permission to include that, so wait for an update : ).

The image from Black Opal is showing a Bloch Sphere, the 3D visualization of the area of an atom and its surface, the space in which the sub-atomic particle will move along in order to store information. This is likely a over s implication and some fault will be found with it by more knowledgeable experts.

It is helpful to show the interaction between multiple Bloch spheres showing Qubits from a game created to show Google Cirq, a quantum computer programming framework. Permission needed.

A computational interaction between these Bloch spheres and Qubits is depicted by Johanna Barzen who explores how neural networks were programmed into quantum circuits using IBM qiskit. Permission needed.

To limit quantum art to a linear method of depiction would be errant. Other imaginative approaches visualize it. The following example is Magnetic Field Reconnection Event (R code). It is generated using a visualization software. Permission Needed.

March 2022. Humanitas 2022 Annual Juried Art Exhibit and Literary Publication. Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC.

Sensory explorations such as visualization software are important. Another example is by Roman Lipski who has partnered with IBM. The following example is based on a techniques playing with depth after being generated with quantum computers and algorithms. Permission needed.

Part of that process is shown next so that the reader isn’t confining their perception to two dimensions and that the view is a result of motion. Permission needed.

Non-digital examples have been made and are explified in the following depictions by Phia Dear. Permission needed.

Additionally the following art can be considered for interactions between multiple sub-atomic particles from CERN, the european center for nuclear research. Two particles cancel each other out in CERN’s discussion of Anti-matter. Permission needed.

And finally using the relationships of quantum mechanics into an immersive interface such as a physics gaming engine, the following can be realized. Permission needed.

This is explored in a narrative game on Steam VR. Permission needed.

It is important to show the relationship between knowledge domains now instead of just the topic of quantum mechanics and quantum computing.

Two articles on this subject can be found on my medium posts:

The objective is to fuse the implementation of Quantum Computing with the sensory experience of art to interact directly with phenomena we would not otherwise be able to see or influence.

One discipline of Quantum Art might be Nuclear Femtography. More can me read about that here:

Applications of Quantum Art: Nuclear Propulsion & Space Exploration

Exploration within our galaxy is is a good problem to solve with Quantum Art because it requires visualizing something unseen to propel us to something we can that holds equal beauty. Increasing our understanding of our galaxy requires advances in the rate of transportation and physical inquiry to planetary bodies such as Jupiter, Saturn and Uranus. These worlds hold resources more readily available for extraction than our planet. The technology used to get to them will require quantum computing. And sensory and spatial explorations of quantum computing will be required for our biological processing to make these advances. Deep space navigation help us work backwards in solving a problem starting with how it might be visualized.

For instance, getting a probe to Uranus can take over a decade. Yet it holds some of the ingredients for fusion energy to get us from our galaxy to others [uranus]. Permission Needed.

How might we start?

Knowledge domains have become too complex for a human to master subsets across disciplines. Our strengths may be the ability to guide associations found by quantum computing through our sensory experiences. We feel and see so much. If we can leverage patterns presented as stimuli to our sensory systems and socially interact about their meaning, we can guide societal advancement in space.

Some of these ways might be taking advancements in artificial intelligence and finding smarter ways to run their supportive architectures. The first step to that may be using the generative technologies to specify where we want to go and the path to getting there among the following areas:

  • Generative Chat
  • Generative 3D Models
  • Generative Math
  • Generative Physics simulations in tools like Matlab
  • Generative Physics simulations in tools like Unreal

Before assuming that generative AI will do all this work for us its important to note that sometimes generative bots will create fake answers that can’t be trusted. So the information provided by the AI should only be used as suggestions such that other humans may present and fact checked. That said, if a chatbot gives us the name of a type of thing but provides the wrong thing, the articulation of the thing is useful nonetheless since it helps us update our knowledge of what is true vs not true.

For instance, if we want to figure out how nuclear propulsion might work in space and where we’d find the resources to manufacture that process from the planets, we’d start by asking generative AI some questions such as how to modify quantum circuits to model a mission for a nuclear rocket from the lunar gateway to the moons of Saturn. Before we get that far, understanding how to write the circuits would be good.

For further illustration, NASA is in fact using generative models to model rockets, according to Fast Company:


So this at least brings merit to trying the approach being outlined for ambitious endeavors such as solving and simulating nuclear and anti-matter propulsion with quantum computing. If NASA is using generative models to model rockets, certainly it can be used to other uses even if the outputs aren’t always the final product.

These generative approaches will be explored in a future article.

Meaningful Applications of Quantum Art: Nuclear. Anti-matter Propulsion, Black Holes, and Dark Matter

Nuclear propulsion will serve as the vehicle for application so as to give an aim in understanding the theoretical elements needing to be visualized. The theory put forth in this writing is that Quantum Art can make us learn faster, so it stands to reason a seemingly insurmountable topic would be the first crucible.

In 2003 a group of citizens put a rocket into sub orbital space with the use of software acquired by Ansys. If nuclear propulsion is to be solved with quantum computing, certainly citizens will need to take it upon themselves to launch the infrastructure to the moon that can harvest space resources to sustain it. And if that is the case, it follows that a basic understanding of how to get the rocket from earth to the moon’s surface is required.

Your Mission Should you Choose to Accept It (Choose your own adventure)

2. Start learning Quantum Computing, Rocket Science, and or propulsion simulation and physical methods for Nuclear Fusion and Fission, and Anti-matter. Be thinking about gravity assist analogs for black holes and quasars once we develop stronger propulsion. https://www.energy.gov/ne/articles/6-things-you-should-know-about-nuclear-thermal-propulsion

3. Articulate how you will explore the frontier through sensory modalities (Quantum Art)

4. Learn more about the ACM. https://www.acm.org/about-acm/about-the-acm-organization

Draft Syllabus for learning Quantum Computing

The Theoretical Minimum by Stanford Phycisist Leonard Susskind (The whole series)

Brilliant App or Black Opal

IBM Qiskit, Google Cirq, or Amazon Bracket. Others could work too. We will be learning Qiskit:


[uranus] https://www.psatellite.com/tag/dfd/?fbclid=PAAaYTgewexU5FBr5Jaf_DA1xXLp4vX5_V-aGJ-NxvdcJ73RZOUiMmbEOrsdE

[nasa uranus] https://solarsystem.nasa.gov/resources/445/hubble-finds-many-bright-clouds-on-uranus/?category=planets_uranus



Micah Tinklepaugh

I design products for people and systems. I also like to swim, bike, and run.